Middle East Public date: 24.08.2017 23:12:18

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21 Dec 2011

The Currency Falls — What Does It Mean

The Iranian currency, the rial, has fallen almost 10% vs. the US dollar in five days. The rate now stands on the open market at 15300:1. Those numbers are only the beginning of the story. The gap between the official rate of exchange, which is just below 11000:1, and the free-market rate is now more than 40%. That in turn feeds the fall of the rial. People will line up outside banks --- Tabnak wrote this week of the degrading sight of Iranians sleeping in front of them and waiting for the doors to open --- and, if they can get the dollars, immediately re-sell them at "free" rates. Alternatively, people will buy gold coins --- some will again take advantage of gaps in rates to make a quick profit by trading them on the open market, others will store them as a hedge against the economic crisis.
The Iranian currency, the rial, has fallen almost 10% vs. the US dollar in five days. The rate now stands on the open...

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20 Dec 2011

Iran’s Currency Plunges to Record Lows

Iran's currency rial dropped to a record low on Tuesday. According to latest reports, U.S. dollar is selling for 15,050 in the open market at the foreign currency exchange offices.
Iran's currency rial dropped to a record low on Tuesday. According to latest reports, U.S. dollar is selling for 15,050...
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20 Dec 2011

Iran Has Only Six Months

While sanctions against Iran s central bank - an idea that has already reverberated through the country s economic sector - have not yet been signed by the US president, a review of the Iranian media indicates the constrains that exist in debating this issue. To clarify the meaning and consequences of sanctioning the central bank, Rooz interviewed two prominent economy specialist in Tehran, Mohammad-Reza Behzadian and Kamal Athari. Behzadian believes that while such sanctions cannot take place against Iran right now, they can within the next six months if Iraqi, Saudi and Libyan oil make up Iran's absence from the oil market. Behzadian who is associated with reformers ran in the Tehran s chamber of commerce elections with the slogan of 'change' and claims to have unlodged the body from its conservative elements such as Ali Naghi Khamushi, Mir-Mohammad Sadeghi and Asadollah Asqar-Owladi. Read on for the details.
While sanctions against Iran s central bank - an idea that has already reverberated through the country s economic...
15 Dec 2011

Assessing The Real Rate of Unemployment

The fact that after a long hiatus the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) has decided to publish the results of its quarterly Labor Force Survey should be welcome news but instead it has been met with controversy and disbelief. The new report for summer 1390 (2011) shows a surprisingly low unemployment rate of 11.1%, down from 13.6% the same quarter a year ago. In the absence of data on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the Central Bank in the last 3 years, analysts were hoping to find answers to questions about the economy s health from unemployment data, but instead they were disappointed. Many reports, including one interview with a former SCI deputy director, dismissed the data as cooked.
The fact that after a long hiatus the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) has decided to publish the results of its...

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13 Dec 2011

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes latest victim of shoe-throwing attack

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become the latest leader to find himself on the receiving end of that popular Middle Eastern method of protest the thrown shoe. Like George W Bush before him, Ahmadinejad found himself staring down the sole of a gentleman's shoe when someone believed to be a recently laid-off textile worker decided to demonstrate his anger during an official ceremony in the north of the country
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become the latest leader to find himself on the receiving end of that popular...

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11 Dec 2011

Iran sees crude market relatively balanced

Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday the oil market was "relatively balanced", indicating the country will not push for any major shift in an OPEC ministerial meeting next week. -- "The market is relatively balanced ... and my feeling is there is a general sentiment among the OPEC members to make a decision based on the real needs of the market," Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters.
Iran's OPEC governor said on Saturday the oil market was "relatively balanced", indicating the country will not push for...
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4 Nov 2011

Khuzestan Workers Protests

On October 22, a group of workers with Ahvaz Pipe Manufacturing Company staged a protest gathering by Ahvaz Governor s House protesting nonpayment of back wages. A number of the workers were arrested during those protests. Yet another protest gathering was held on October 29 on the same premise. The workers complained that the permanent workers had not received their back wages for the last 12 months while the contract workers had gone more than 15 months without pay. The plant is employing 450 permanent and 350 contracted workers.
On October 22, a group of workers with Ahvaz Pipe Manufacturing Company staged a protest gathering by Ahvaz Governor s...
24 Oct 2011

Protests Against Firing of Workers and Closure of Workshops

Despite the claims by the Majlis representative from Mahshahr that the workers strikes at the town s petrochemical complex had ended, news reports indicate that the strikes continue. The executive secretary of the province s Khane Kargar, a workers organization, confirmed the bleak situation when he recently said, "Statistics on the number of laid off workers in recent years are greater than new hires and we have been witness to the dismissal of worker and the closure of workshops in this province."
Despite the claims by the Majlis representative from Mahshahr that the workers strikes at the town s petrochemical...
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23 Oct 2011

Iran moves to impeach economy minister

Iran's parliament has decided to impeach the minister of the economy over an alleged financial scandal amid mounting political infighting which has weakened the government of the president, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad
Iran's parliament has decided to impeach the minister of the economy over an alleged financial scandal amid mounting...

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6 Oct 2011

More Strike Actions Across the Country

The month of September has witnessed growing protest actions by the Iranian workers across the country. On September 5, Zhaveh dam workers in Kurdistan went on strike in protest for nonpayment of back wages going back some six months. The workers indicated that they would continue their strike until they receive due compensation
The month of September has witnessed growing protest actions by the Iranian workers across the country. On September 5,...

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3 Oct 2011

Workers on Strike at Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex – Day 7

Seven days have passed since 1500 workers of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex in Khuzestan Province began their strike. Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers has reported that security agents have arrested 3 workers and taken them to the Intelligence Agency located at the port city of Bandar Imam Khomeini.
Seven days have passed since 1500 workers of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex in Khuzestan Province began their strike....

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30 Aug 2011

Iran’s inflation rate hits 17.2%

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor said the country's twelve-month inflation rate ended to the calendar month of Mordad (July 23-August 22) reached 17.2 percent, showing a modest growth despite implementing the subsidy reform plan.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor said the country's twelve-month inflation rate ended to the calendar month of...

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23 Aug 2011

Iran’s suicide rate soars, averaging 10 per day

Iran's suicide rate has climbed 17% in two years, with 10 Iranians on average taking their lives every day, a government official announced Wednesday. Ahmad Shaja'i, the country s chief of forensic medicine, told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) that suicides increased nearly 5% since last year, with 952 Iranians taking their lives during the first quarter of the Iranian year, which began in March, compared with 870 the same time last year. More than 70% of the suicides were men.
Iran's suicide rate has climbed 17% in two years, with 10 Iranians on average taking their lives every day, a government...

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15 Aug 2011

Iran sees return to normal oil exports to India in August -Fars

Iran hopes oil deliveries to India will return to a normal level now a long-running payment problem has been resolved, the head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co. said in an interview published on Sunday.
Iran hopes oil deliveries to India will return to a normal level now a long-running payment problem has been resolved,...

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13 Aug 2011

Iran reiterates threat to take gas project off China

Iran reiterated to China on Saturday it could take back control of a gas field being developed by its national oil company unless it speeds up investment, one week after the new Iranian oil minister said no foreign contractors were needed.
Iran reiterated to China on Saturday it could take back control of a gas field being developed by its national oil...

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13 Aug 2011

IMF Defends Its Cheerleading for Tehran’s Economy

Since the spring, we have noted and criticised the International Monetary Fund's optimistic "reports" on the Iranian economy, which appear to be driven more by advocacy for subsidy cuts and reliance on the statistics claimed by Iranian officials than on any substantive analysis
Since the spring, we have noted and criticised the International Monetary Fund's optimistic "reports" on the Iranian...

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5 Aug 2011

Iran’s Untenable Economy

Mention of the words structural reform these days usually conjures up images of the unrest in Greece. But according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund, Iran has also been restructuring its economy, introducing changes that have resulted in an unexpected growth rate of 3.2 percent in 2010-11.
Mention of the words structural reform these days usually conjures up images of the unrest in Greece. But according to a...
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2 Aug 2011

Iran Makes Itself More Vulnerable to Outside Pressure

Tehran distributed a sixth installment of cash payments to 73 million Iranians in lieu of subsidies on fuel, natural gas, electricity, and essential items such as bread. Having done the easy part of its subsidy reform -- sending out checks to compensate for price increases -- the regime must now do the hard part: raise the money to pay for those checks and find a way to help businesses badly hit by the higher prices. Tehran should be able to meet that challenge as long as its oil income remains high, but if oil prices drop or sanctions impede financial flows, it could face serious problems.
Tehran distributed a sixth installment of cash payments to 73 million Iranians in lieu of subsidies on fuel, natural...

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2 Aug 2011

Iran Makes Itself More Vulnerable to Outside Pressure

Tehran distributed a sixth installment of cash payments to 73 million Iranians in lieu of subsidies on fuel, natural gas, electricity, and essential items such as bread. Having done the easy part of its subsidy reform -- sending out checks to compensate for price increases -- the regime must now do the hard part: raise the money to pay for those checks and find a way to help businesses badly hit by the higher prices. Tehran should be able to meet that challenge as long as its oil income remains high, but if oil prices drop or sanctions impede financial flows, it could face serious problems.
Tehran distributed a sixth installment of cash payments to 73 million Iranians in lieu of subsidies on fuel, natural...
1 Aug 2011

Why Ahmadinejad isn’t on his way out

There has been much dancing on the grave of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. After his unnerving re-election two years ago in a disputed and bloody vote, Ahmadinejad's many critics abroad and at home have savored the thorough political beating he has suffered over the last few months by Iran's real power, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei . Yet there are signs that Ahmadinejad is not a spent force just yet. This wily survivor is in the midst of renewing himself. His prime weapon has been a combination of oil supplicance and oil populism.
There has been much dancing on the grave of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. After his unnerving re-election two...

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31 Jul 2011

Workers of Tractor Manufacturing Company on Strike

The workers of Iranian Tractor Manufacturing Company whose headquarters are in Tabriz have been on strike since five days ago. During this time, all factory workshops have shut down while company and provincial officials continue to ignore workers demands and have threatened them with termination.
The workers of Iranian Tractor Manufacturing Company whose headquarters are in Tabriz have been on strike since five...

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28 Jul 2011

Saudis step in as Iranian oil dries up

Saudi Arabia has agreed to sell 3 million barrels of additional crude oil to India next month to make up for supply cut by Iran over unpaid bills, touching $7 billion. Saudi Aramco, the national oil firm of Saudi Arabia, will supply one million barrels each to Essar Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum in August while Mangalore Refinery, too, is in talks to contract similar volumes, officials said on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia has agreed to sell 3 million barrels of additional crude oil to India next month to make up for supply cut...

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24 Jul 2011

China and Iran plan oil barter

Tehran and Beijing are in talks about using a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for Chinese goods and services, as US financial sanctions have blocked China from paying at least $20bn for oil imports.
Tehran and Beijing are in talks about using a barter system to exchange Iranian oil for Chinese goods and services, as...
22 Jul 2011

The Supreme Leader’s Economic PlanÂ

On July 19, Iran s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published a General Employment Policy consisting of 13 goals or strategies to improve employment in Iran. The plan was an indirect but telling acknowledgement of Iran s massive unemployment problem --- it follows just a week after statements by Khamenei to Iran s Chamber of Commerce in which the Supreme Leader urged economic optimism and restraint in publishing discouraging items regarding the economy. The statement was published to virtually every state-owned or affiliated news agency in Farsi, as well as the the Supreme Leader s website.
On July 19, Iran s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published a General Employment Policy consisting of...

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21 Jul 2011

Sanctions Spark Iran Currency Fluctuations

Over the past decade, Iran's central bank, which channels more than 90 per cent of hard currency into the local market, has employed a managed float system to support a single rate against hard currencies, notably the US dollar. Usually when the rial shows signs of weakening the bank pumps foreign currency into the market to bring rates down. But sometimes the authorities choose to weaken the national currency intentionally by withholding the supply of hard currency to earn more rial-denominated income when the government faces a budget deficit.
Over the past decade, Iran's central bank, which channels more than 90 per cent of hard currency into the local market,...

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16 Jul 2011

Iran and China sign $4b in deals

Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion ( 2.8 billion) for infrastructure projects as part of a broader bid to boost trade volume between the two nations, Iranian state media reported.
Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion ( 2.8 billion) for infrastructure projects as...

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15 Jul 2011

Iran sees trade booming despite sanctions

Iran expects to garner non-oil trade worth more than $45 billion during its current calendar year despite a plethora of international sanctions led by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.
Iran expects to garner non-oil trade worth more than $45 billion during its current calendar year despite a plethora of...

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15 Jul 2011

Subsidies: New IMF Report

The successful implementation of the drastic price increases has created a unique opportunity for Iran to reform its economy and accelerate economic growth and development. The authorities are now faced with the challenging task of translating this opportunity into reality. Pre-reform preparations, for good reasons, centered on ensuring social support for the price increases. Without broad public support, the government would not have been able to increase the domestic prices of energy and other products.
The successful implementation of the drastic price increases has created a unique opportunity for Iran to reform its...

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5 Jul 2011

Iran’s Economy – A Political Battleground, But Could it Undo the Islamic Republic

The public purse is a political battleground in any country. But when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dubbed this Persian calendar year of economic jihad, it signaled a turn - the pain of a flailing economy now so sharp that the regime wanted to shrug it off publicly with an air of defiance.
The public purse is a political battleground in any country. But when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dubbed this Persian...
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4 Jul 2011

Iran’s Annual Oil, Gas Production Hits $217B

The value of Iran's annual oil and gas production has reached $217 billion and will rise in the coming years due to the vast new investments in the sector, Iran's deputy oil minister announced on Sunday.
The value of Iran's annual oil and gas production has reached $217 billion and will rise in the coming years due to the...
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1 Jul 2011

Iraq Signs $365 Million Pipeline Agreement to Import Iranian Gas

Iraq signed a $365 million agreement to install a pipeline network to import natural gas from Iran for power stations in the country. The pipelines will eventually supply 25 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas a day to the Sadr, al-Quds and South Baghdad power stations in the Iraqi capital, Mosaab Serri, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, said by telephone today. The agreement with Iran, which holds the world s second-largest gas reserves, requires the approval of the Iraqi Council of Ministers and Parliament.
Iraq signed a $365 million agreement to install a pipeline network to import natural gas from Iran for power stations in...

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1 Jul 2011

Saudi prince proposes oil war with Iran

Underlining the escalating cold war between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran, former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal proposes the kingdom use its oil power to drive down prices to batter the Islamic Republic's sanctions-hit economy. That would ratchet up tensions in the Persian Gulf and the wider Middle East at a time of unprecedented political upheaval
Underlining the escalating cold war between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran, former intelligence chief Prince Turki...

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24 Jun 2011

Iran’s bold economic reform: Economic jihad

GOOD news from Iran is rare, and the IMF is seldom a font of happy tidings about anything. So when a mission from the Fund cheered the Islamic Republic s economy earlier this month, heaping praise on the policies of its ruthless government, eyebrows spiked upwards as in a comic scene in a Persian miniature. The shock was even sharper given that the IMF, whose biggest shareholder happens to be the Great Satan, America, is a pillar of global capitalism, a system that Iran s maverick president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gleefully lambasts as evil.
GOOD news from Iran is rare, and the IMF is seldom a font of happy tidings about anything. So when a mission from the...
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24 Jun 2011

Vitol to resume Caspian oil swaps with Iran

International trading house Vitol will resume Caspian oil swaps with Iran after a year-long suspension of operations, industry and trade sources said on Thursday. "Vitol is resuming Iranian swaps. I think there there's really good money in it," a Mediterranean trader told Reuters.
International trading house Vitol will resume Caspian oil swaps with Iran after a year-long suspension of operations,...

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21 Jun 2011

Iran’s New Economic Slump

Iran's biggest economic problem is the growing production slump at its factories and workshops. For both workers and the business elite, Iran's domestic industrial troubles are far more pressing -- and generating far more public anxiety -- than international sanctions.
Iran's biggest economic problem is the growing production slump at its factories and workshops. For both workers and the...

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16 Jun 2011

Iran, Long Seen As An Economic Basket Case, Wins Praise From IMF

If you were seeking endorsement of Iran's economic policies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hardly seems like the ideal reference point. The Washington-based institution is, after all, renowned for zealously promoting programs of public spending cuts and economic liberalization. Iran, meanwhile -- at least under President Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- has repeatedly forecast the imminent end of the global capitalist system.
If you were seeking endorsement of Iran's economic policies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hardly seems like the...
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15 Jun 2011

Iran to use all tools to stop currency slide

Iran's central bank announced a raft of measures to prop up the rial currency on Wednesday after a rush for dollars forced a devaluation. The measures, including raising domestic interest rates, come after the bank said earlier this week it was injecting billions of dollars into the market to stabilise the currency.
Iran's central bank announced a raft of measures to prop up the rial currency on Wednesday after a rush for dollars...

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12 Jun 2011

Bread crisis in Tehran

The price of flour has jumped 50-fold and the price of bread has increased four-fold, according to the Iranian regime s news sources.
The price of flour has jumped 50-fold and the price of bread has increased four-fold, according to the Iranian regime s...

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9 Jun 2011

Grounding Iranian Crude to a Halt

Through the Comprehensive Iran Sanction Accountability and Divestment Act (CISADA), passed in 2010, the United States Congress has taken strong measures to check Iran s ability to abuse the international banking sector and the refined energy space
Through the Comprehensive Iran Sanction Accountability and Divestment Act (CISADA), passed in 2010, the United States...

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9 Jun 2011

Where Politics is a Distraction from Making Money

Judging by the front pages of Persian language newspapers neatly laid out at every Tehran newsstand, political scandal is in the air. President Ahmadinejad's closest aides, including right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, are being accused of embezzlement, cronyism, collaboration with opposition forces, and even pagan rituals thrown in for shock value.
Judging by the front pages of Persian language newspapers neatly laid out at every Tehran newsstand, political scandal...

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8 Jun 2011

The Squeeze of Ahmadinejad’s Subsidy CutsÂ

Owners of industrial and agricultural enterprises who initially welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plan to reduce subsidies by lifting the price-support system for basic goods have now become its chief critics.
Owners of industrial and agricultural enterprises who initially welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plan to...

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17 May 2011

Ahmadinejad TV Interview Khamenei ‘Like a Father to Our Society’ – Tehran Bureau

Here is Tehran Bureau's transcript of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's live interview Sunday night (and very early Monday morning) on Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting channel TV2
Here is Tehran Bureau's transcript of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's live interview Sunday night (and very early Monday...

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10 May 2011

12,000 unemployed physicians in Iran

As result of devastating policies by Mullahs regime and ever-increasing unemployment, Acting Director of the Iran s Public Health System said there are 12,000 unemployed general physicians, the state-run Khabar Online reported on May 6
As result of devastating policies by Mullahs regime and ever-increasing unemployment, Acting Director of the Iran s...

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25 Apr 2011

Supporting the Workers

With May Day approaching, the opposition Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope has expressed support for Iranian workers while expressing concern over the regime's treatment of the workers' rights to organise, mobilise, and protest and declaring, "Without resolving the flaws in the country's political system, it is not possible to speak of any economic revival.
With May Day approaching, the opposition Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope has expressed support for...

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24 Apr 2011

Will the Economy Rock the Boat

The dejected state of Iran's economy is increasingly a topic of public discourse. Facing what a local financial analyst for HSBC Bank describes as "the bleakest prospects in nearly two decades," even the government appears anxious to paint its policies, described as disastrous by market watchers, in a positive light.
The dejected state of Iran's economy is increasingly a topic of public discourse. Facing what a local financial analyst...
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24 Apr 2011

Iran food prices up 25 pct, twice inflation

Food prices in Iran have risen almost 25 percent in one year, official figures released on Sunday showed, twice the overall official rate of inflation. Figures from the Central Bank of Iran, carried in Iranian newspapers, showed the bank's food basket cost 24.46 percent more in the first month of the Iranian year, starting March 21, than in the same month a year ago.
Food prices in Iran have risen almost 25 percent in one year, official figures released on Sunday showed, twice the...

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19 Apr 2011

Iran Workers Protest Over Wage Arrears

Workers in the northwestern Iranian city of Qazvin have staged protests in recent days to demand the payment of wage arrears. The reformist website Jaras reported that dozens of workers at Qazvin's textile industry staged a demonstration in front of the Presidential Institute in Tehran on April 16, saying they had not been paid for over a year.
Workers in the northwestern Iranian city of Qazvin have staged protests in recent days to demand the payment of wage...

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18 Apr 2011

Iran has foreign exchange reserves of $100 bln

Iran s foreign exchange reserves stand at $100 billion, Press TV reported, citing Shamseddin Hosseini, the economy and finance minister. The country's foreign debt is about $20 billion, he said, without giving details, according to the state-run news channel.
Iran s foreign exchange reserves stand at $100 billion, Press TV reported, citing Shamseddin Hosseini, the economy and...

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13 Apr 2011

Factory Workers On Strike In Southern Iran

Workers at two major industrial enterprises in Iran's southern province of Khuzestan are on strike, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Some 1,500 employees of the Imam Port Petrochemical Complex have been staging gatherings in front of its headquarters since April 9 to demand their work contracts be concluded directly with the plant's management rather than with contractors.
Workers at two major industrial enterprises in Iran's southern province of Khuzestan are on strike, RFE/RL's Radio Farda...

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13 Apr 2011

Growing Anger over Rising Energy Prices

Iran s parliament has warned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that resentment is building over sharp increases in the price of natural gas, which has risen at least 10-fold on average in recent weeks, and that public protests could follow.
Iran s parliament has warned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that resentment is building over sharp increases in the price...

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5 Apr 2011

The Economy, Anyone?

MP Hamidreza Katouzian, head of energy committee, has released a statement that, without proper investment, Iran will become the largest importer of oil and related products. He also said that subsidy cuts were generally positive, but that the lack of refunds will put Iranian industry in dire condition.
MP Hamidreza Katouzian, head of energy committee, has released a statement that, without proper investment, Iran will...

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