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Iran News and Discussions

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Gagan » 06 Aug 2015 20:55

I wonder what massa told the Iranians about the Sunni bomb, that made the Iranians relent and for the time being cap their bomb project?

Iran must have been convinced that the Sunni powers don't have access to a true WMD for them to agree to this.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby nachiket » 06 Aug 2015 22:56

Gagan wrote:Yaa, massa has done a nice equal equal between the shias and the sunnis.
They keep each other in check, spend all the jihadi fervor on each other.

Keeps the rest of the western world more peaceful.

There..

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sivab » 09 Aug 2015 09:17

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... mesofindia

India's 'substantial sacrifice' in backing sanctions helped seal Iran nuclear deal: White House

WASHINGTON: Acknowledging India's "substantial sacrifice" in backing the sanctions regime against Iran, the White House has again warned that if the Republican-controlled Congress unilaterally kills the Iran nuclear deal, it would greatly damage America's standing.

"No longer would countries like India, who have been making a substantial sacrifice over the years, have any interest or incentive to continue to enforce those sanctions against Iran," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday.

Indian leaders had agreed to curtail the import of oil from Iran making an "economic sacrifice" and backed the sanctions against Tehran to advance US effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy, he said.

"In essence ...countries like India had agreed that they would take these steps, even at their own expense, to try to reach this broader international agreement," he said.

Earnest recalled that when the sanctions were originally put in place, US officials travelled around the world "including to India, sat down with the Indian government and asked them to curtail the amount of Iranian oil that they imported into the country".

"And we acknowledged in the context of those discussions that this would be an economic sacrifice that the people of India and that the economy of India would have to make," he said.

"But Indian leaders agreed to it by saying that this is something that they were willing to do if they can advance our effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy," Earnest said.

"And the good news is that that agreement has been reached. And it is an agreement that is supported by the international community - 99 percent of the world as the President (Barack Obama) has described it," Earnest said.

"And that's why it would be so damaging to the standing of the United States for the United States Congress to act unilaterally to kill this deal," he said.

"No longer would countries like India, who have been making a substantial sacrifice over the years, have any interest or incentive to continue to enforce those sanctions against Iran," Earnest said.

"There is no basis, there is no credible claim for why they would be willing to do that," he said.

"And there is no denying the significant negative impact on United States credibility for the United States to be isolated in this way."

"That's why the president has said if Congress were to move forward to kill this deal or kill this agreement, it would, in fact, yield a better deal for Iran," Earnest said.

"Because what we would see is that Iran would get sanctions relief; they would have the ability to sell oil to India and get the proceeds of doing so...without having to submit to the most intrusive set of inspections that have ever been imposed on a country's nuclear programme," he said.

"That's why I've long said that the case before Congress is that Iran is going to get sanctions relief," Earnest said.

"The question is whether or not the United States and the international community is going to get anything for it. And that is ultimately the choice before members of Congress right now," he said.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 09 Aug 2015 14:02

Crossposted from "Sunni Terrorist Fragments of Unstable Pakistan-July 10, 2015" Thread

CRamS wrote:Guys, first a caution: I am connecting some dots, but with the caveat that its based on DDM reports. So take it for whatever its worth.

First, please see this bold headline in ToILeT proclaiming that according to US: "India's 'substantial sacrifice' in backing sanctions helped seal Iran N-deal"

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 404971.cms

Now, read this AFP report on upcoming India TSP talks

http://news.yahoo.com/india-pakistan-ta ... 17263.html


The official said if Pakistan were to call off the talks, then India would take the dispute to international forums "and even get the U.S. involved".



In the absence of India being unable to inflict any pain on TSP for its terror, I am not completely loath to US involvement if it helps TSP behave, especially if its a quid pro quo assuming the above Iran report is true. This would mean that US is not just "helping" India, but its mutual.

Main danger of US involvement is if it starts meddling in Kashmir. If US agrees that its involvement is restricted to terror, I see no harm. Threat of US sanctions will make TSP RAPE bend down on their knees with a begging bowl, and who knows, if US can turn on the screws, Hafeez pig might be killed in a "traffic accident" in Faisalabad :-).


This report is actually very mischievous. It says that India sided with USA against Iran in expectation of a quid pro quo from USA in terms of pressure on Pakistan. Basically it is a hit job to tell the Iranians, that now that the sanctions are over, they can return the favor to India, and undermine India, perhaps by using Pakistan against India or by curbing Indian interests in Iran - oil fields, gas, ports, access to Central Asia, etc.

India sided partly with USA because of fear of repercussions on Indian economy and because USA was able to build a big enough coalition against Iran to pressurize it. We did not side with them in hope of having USA put pressure on Pakistan, because we know, they wouldn't do it on a large enough scale to get Pakistan off our backs, nor can the Americans do that. American lack of ability to influence Pakistan politics was more than visible during American occupation of Afghanistan, and the ensuing problems with supply routes through Pakistan.

So let's not buy into the nonsense in this article which has the malicious intent of distancing India from Iran, to prevent Indo-Iranian relations to bloom now that the sanctions are going from Iran.

India has supported Iran to the best possible considering the international restrictions that were imposed on this relationship.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 09 Aug 2015 14:15

^^^ Plenty of evidence of US-UK media stoking fires and manufacturing ill-will between India and Iran - during the payments crisis and various other times. Read BBC Farsi for some of the crudest such hitjobs.

But we must remember that they only take advantage of some latent Iranian contempt for India, which sometimes translates into purely opportunistic play w.r.t. the Indian subcontinent.

Iran, from the Shah's time, has always sided with Pakistan against India w.r.t. happenings east of Pakistan. It is only because Pakistan got too ambitious to its west that Iran and India developed a tactical alliance. As Pakistan grows weaker and Iran grows stronger, and the Khwarezm area slips into Iranian power projection rather than Zia-ul-Haq's dream, it is a foregone conclusion that Iran will try to subordinate and recruit Pakistan. The crucial aspect of if and how that plays out is not Iran-India business, but rather Iran-Turkey relations. IMHO.

From India's PoV, a lot will depend on how we find friends in Arabia.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 09 Aug 2015 14:22

Agnimitra wrote:From India's PoV, a lot will depend on how we find friends in Arabia.


Agnimitra ji,

that is exactly how I see it, but I think one still needs to counter the Western propaganda which is targeted to giving Iran a reason for complaint against Indians to justify their own actions in the region.

It should be clear that India has not dealt with Iran unfairly or in an unfriendly manner during the sanctions regime against it, and whatever Iran plans to do, for better or for worse would be based on their own initiative.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 09 Aug 2015 17:13

Absolutely, RajeshA ji.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Paul » 09 Aug 2015 19:17

Turkey's PM was in Pakistan last week for a few days.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Falijee » 10 Aug 2015 05:02

Indian Aircrafts Land At Saudi Airbase, Enroute to U.K. Signals Yet Another Snub To Pakistan For Let - Down In Yemen :P

RIYADH (Web Desk) – A flying contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are on a maiden visit to Saudi Arabia from August 1-4, reports Al Arabiya News.

Indian Embassy Charge d’Affaires Hemant Kotalwar, while addressing a press conference, called the visit significant, and a step to boost Indo-Saudi relations.

The visit underscored the close defense ties between India and Saudi Arabia, which received a fillip following Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s visit to New Delhi, when he was Crown Prince in February 2014, to sign a Bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement,” he said.

Kotalwar thanked King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salam, minister of defense, for the support and cooperation rendered during the visit.
:D

The contingent consisting of 110 IAF officers and airmen on-board Sukhoi 30MKI fighter aircraft, C-17 Globe Masters, C-130 Super Hercules and IL-78 aircraft while en route to United Kingdom for a multinational exercise landed at King Fahd airbase in Taif.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 14 Aug 2015 16:45

Brookings Institution's analysis of India-Iran relations (by Tanvi Madan):
http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/markaz/p ... deal-madan

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 17 Aug 2015 09:06

Three months after Nitin Gadkari's visit, Iran's Chahbahar port project runs into trouble - Pranab Dhal Samanta, Economic Times
Iran on an upswing is not making matters easier for India. The flagship Chahbahar port project has run into trouble three months after Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari visited Tehran and signed an agreement to develop this highly-strategic port.

Progress is stuck after Iranian port authorities told a visiting Shipping Ministry delegation, which went in June to follow up on the agreement, that the port building contract had been awarded to an Iranian company Aria Badaner. India had wished to carry out major construction of the port.

When the Indian side protested and cited the agreement, Iran's Ports and Maritime Organisation conveyed that the contract with Aria Badaner was signed in March, couple of months before the Indian memorandum of understanding was signed. The logic being that it predates any commitment to New Delhi even though India has had an understanding well before Iran came under sanctions.

The message from the whole meeting was that India could still play a role by passing on the investment amount of $85 million to the Iranian company, which will execute the works.

This turnaround has come as rude shock to India, which was hoping to take over two berths on lease and build container as well as cargo terminals
. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also raised the port project issue with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at Ufa, Russia, on the margins of the SCO summit last month.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif, who was here on the weekend, discussed the issue in great detail with Gadkari and other officials. It's learnt that he seemed to have downplayed the matter as a local problem in his conversations. Sources told ET that Zarif has conveyed similar assurances to India as Rouhani did and said he would ensure on return that top Iranian Shipping Ministry officials, if not the minister himself, would visit India at the earliest to resolve this issue.

Incidently, both sides have maintained a positive public posture with Zarif even suggesting on Friday that serious work would start in Chahbahar "sooner rather than later".

This project has immense strategic value for India as it offers an al- ternate route to Afghanistan by- passing Pakistan. The port will be connected to Zahedan on the Iran-Afghan border through a railway line, which will also be built by Indian counstruction company IRCON.

But here too, Iranian authorities have conveyed that Iranian Railway will under- take the construction. Tehran has conveyed India that it could give 50 per cent funding, which was committed by India, directly to the Iranian authorities.

It may be noted that India has already constructed the 218-km road from Zaranj on the Afghanistan- Iranian border to Delaram in Nimruz province where it connects the Afghan Garland Road. The grand strategic plan is to connect Chahbahar through Zahedan into Afghanistan and on the other side, have a shipping line to key Indian ports on the Western coast.

New Delhi had also presented the draft of an India-Afghanistan-Iran transit agreement, which is necessary to anchor this project and other connectivity initiatives. While Kabul agreed to the draft with small changes, Iran is learnt to have sent a fresh draft which is substantially different to what India had proposed.

Despite these twists and turns, India is going by the signals at the highest levels {That's the trick. Continue to offer hope at the highest levels while steadily undermining at the more important lower levels with, of course, the nod of the 'highest level'}
, which have been encouraging for now, and continues to hope that these issues are nothing more than "starting out troubles" for a country emerging from isolation and sanctions.


India is once again going to be disappointed with Iran.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 17 Aug 2015 17:56

All the strategerists in India who claimed that India should use its good offices with Iran to play middleman to US-Iran reconciliantion should think again. Playing middleman or as "bridge of friendship" does not earn India any brownie points -- the value of the bridge is zero once the two countries succeed in establishing direct contact. Here's to hoping that the US-Iran agreement fails to make it past the US congress.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Aug 2015 20:46

^^ A culture of ta'arof and taqiyyeh.
People from cultures that don't understand that are invariably "rudely shocked" and "disappointed".
As US Sen. Lindsey Graham said, "Those Iranians in pool halls are all liars."

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 21 Aug 2015 07:49

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/i ... 562425.ece
"Iran no longer on restricted visa list"

The Union government's move indicates that it wants to reach out to the Persian Gulf nation.

The Union government has removed Iran from the list of countries put under the restricted visa category, indicating that it wants to reach out to the Persian Gulf nation.

India sees Iran as a key supporter in the wake of the growing threats and influence of Islamist terror groups such as the Islamic State in Central Asia. India has liberalised its visa policy for Iran and struck it off the prior referral category (PRC) of countries. Three categories of visas — employment, conference, students and research visa — were on the restricted list till now.

On Wednesday, the Union Home Ministry issued an order which said Iran was no longer on the PRC list, which has countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.

“The order means that Iranians can easily apply for visas at our consulate in Iran and each application will not have to be forwarded to [the] Intelligence Bureau and [the] Research and Analysis Wing here for verification,” a senior government official said.


External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to visit Iran later this year.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 26 Aug 2015 04:20


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 27 Aug 2015 11:16

Decks cleared for India’s role in Iranian port - TCA Sharad Raghavan, The Hindu
The decks have been cleared for India to lease and develop the strategically important Iranian port of Chabahar. This will provide an alternative route for India to trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan. The obstructions that the India-Iran agreement on the port had run into, after it was announced in May, got sorted last week during Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s visit, said Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

“The Prime Minister has spoken to the Iran government…. and 8 to 10 days ago the Iranian Foreign Minister came and met me… we have solved the problem,” Mr. Gadkari said without divulging details.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Chabahar port will be used to ship crude oil and urea, greatly reducing transportation costs for importing these two commodities. The port is to be developed via a special purpose vehicle, which will be owned by the two sides with an investment of around $85 million. A multi-purpose cargo and container terminal is to be developed at the port.

India’s presence in Chabahar will offset the Chinese presence in the Pakistani port of Gwadar. It also takes advantage of the centuries-old connection with Iran, especially at a time when Iran’s economic sanctions are expected to be lifted, thanks to the nuclear deal it signed with the West. Weeks ahead of signing the MoU, the Iranian government had leased the port for upgradation to a private company, Aria Badaner. This put a question mark on the Indo-Iranian deal and caused alarm in Indian quarters as the agreement with Aria Badaner had taken place in March, while the MoU was signed in May between Mr. Gadkari and Iran’s Minister for Transport and Urban Development Dr. Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi.


I am not too confident that the deal is completely sealed. The Iranians wriggle out of deals and can't be trusted. By the looks of it, the 'resolution' seems to be some quick fix which may not last.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 27 Aug 2015 16:53

The higher levels of the govt. "seal it" and the lower levels of the Iranian govt. break it using some bureaucratic excuse, which about reveals their real intent. Iran is a lost cause as far as India is concerned.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby schinnas » 27 Aug 2015 20:49

SSridhar wrote:I am not too confident that the deal is completely sealed. The Iranians wriggle out of deals and can't be trusted. By the looks of it, the 'resolution' seems to be some quick fix which may not last.


What will secure the deal for the long term is what is in it for Iran and India. In other words, if it is a mutual win-win, the deal would be secure. The economic and strategic benefits of providing sea access to Afghanistan is highly welcome from both Afghan standpoint and Indian standpoint. Firstly it makes Afghanistan dependent on Iran to an extent. Secondly, it cuts Pakistan's geo-strategic advantage to size by providing a means for India to bye-pass Pukistan and other world powers to directly reach into land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asian states. Economically, Iran benefits by not having to invest in the port and associated road infrastructure and be able to collect rent and associated economic development that comes with such a trade corridor.

The only reason Iran would wriggle out of the program is if they see lot of benefit in doing it themselves or by doing it with support from another partner. China, which has the clout, muscle and technology to pull off such mega projects even quickly and efficiently than India has already committed to investing substantially in Pakistan and would not go this route. It would be unlikely of Uncle to do it. Russia is a possibility but it is again unlikely for them to pip India here.

IMO, Iranians may try to milk more concessions and other benefits from India, but it is in their interest for this to be successful and having India drive this project will likely ensure success of this project.

GoI on its part should be firm in dealing with Iran and convey in uncertain terms that the project is a win-win for both countries and Iran stands to lose probably more than India by delaying this project or putting roadblocks.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 27 Aug 2015 21:08

schinnas wrote:What will secure the deal for the long term is what is in it for Iran and India. In other words, if it is a mutual win-win, the deal would be secure.


Iran's recent behavior says that any such deal will be arbitrarily reneged on by Iran, if they come to believe that they have other options that provide them with higher value than a deal with India. That implies that any "secure" deal with Iran is only secure temporarily and will be reneged on if Iran finds a better deal down the line.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Falijee » 28 Aug 2015 22:18


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Arjun » 30 Aug 2015 20:53

Any idea what the status and timeframe is on Chabahar port development ? Would it be up and running by 2017, the stated timeframe for Gwadar?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 31 Aug 2015 17:05

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/31 ... olar-power
A consortium of Iranian, Indian and South Korean companies seeks to set up an energy park in Iran’s Khuzestan province in a project worth $10 billion, including generation of 1,000 megawatts of solar power, the IRNA news agency says.

Enterprise Company has also proposed to build gas-powered and combined cycle plants to produce 600 megawatts of electricity, Suresh Sharma, coordinator and head of GTPP Oil and Gas, said.

Iranian project owners have announced readiness to undertake 30% of investment and the foreign side to provide the rest of the funds, an IRNA reporter told Press TV.

Representatives of the consortium visited provincial authorities on Sunday to outline their plans, the news agency said.

The project is part of Iran’s bid to establish 5,000 megawatts of renewable capacity in the country which relies on fossil fuels for 85% of its electricity.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Falijee » 04 Sep 2015 04:19


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 06 Sep 2015 08:19

The "gold rush" begins!
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/busi ... 837409.cms
TOKYO: Japan and Iran will start talks next week to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty, as Washington moves to ease sanctions against Tehran and Tokyo looks to step up its interests in the resource rich nation.

Japanese and Iranian officials will meet in Tehran from Monday through to Wednesday to secure a deal, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on yesterday, as other energy consumers also rush to explore Tehran's commercial potential.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 07 Sep 2015 17:33

Bahai persecution in Iran and their exodus to India in the foot steps of Zoroastrians

How Iran Made Me An Indian

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Multatuli » 17 Sep 2015 15:20

Iran leader warns Guards against US infiltration

Tehran (AFP) - Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards Wednesday to be on alert for "political and cultural" infiltration by the United States.

"The main purpose of the enemies is for Iranians to give up on their revolutionary mentality," Khamenei told a gathering of Guards commanders and personnel in Tehran.

"Enemy means global arrogance, the ultimate symbol of which is the United States," he said, calling on the powerful branch of the military to protect the revolution.

"Economic and security breaches are definitely dangerous, and have dire consequences," he said.

"But political and cultural intrusion by the enemy is a more serious danger that everyone should be vigilant about," he added.

The enemies "are waiting for a time when the nation and system fall asleep, for example in 10 years when I may not be here, to realise their objectives," the 76-year-old said.

"But the nation and the authorities won't let that happen."

Khamenei, who has the final say on all policy matters, has repeatedly warned against the rise of Western influence in Iran after the nuclear agreement with world powers struck two months ago.

Iran and the US severed diplomatic ties in 1980 after a hostage crisis when students took over the US embassy in Tehran.

Khamenei said last week that Iran would not hold any negotiations with the US beyond the nuclear issue.

The deal reached in Vienna limits Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for the gradual lifting of painful sanctions.

The Guards were formed by Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini soon after the 1979 revolution to defend the Islamic republic from internal and external threats.

They are one of Iran's most powerful institutions and fall under Khamenei's direct command.

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-leader-warns ... 54648.html

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 24 Sep 2015 07:03

India, Iran and Afghanistan come together for international transit corridor - Sachin Parashar, ToI
India is looking to step up the pedal over its ambitious Chabahar port project in Iran by signing an international transit corridor agreement with Iran and Afghanistan.

One of the reasons why the port project is important for India as it will facilitate access to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. Over the past 2 days, officials from the 3 countries have met to finalize agreement for a Chabahar transit corridor.

"We are looking at a trilateral transit corridor MoU," India's ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha told TOI.

While India and Iran are developing the Chabahar port jointly, Sinha said, Afghan businesses are investing in the attached free trade zone where Iran has allotted land for Afghan investors.

For India, Chabahar port is an important initiative involving three partners, and is a critical alternate trade route for Afghanistan. What came as a shot in the arm for India was that the port was welcomed by all regional partners of Afghanistan at the VI RECCA (Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan) conference held in Kabul on September 4.

The transit corridor will be significant for Afghanistan too with President Ashraf Ghani declaring that his country wants to revitalize the Silk Road and act as a regional hub for connecting South Asia with Central Asia.

Indian officials said though that the primary motivation for the port and transit corridor was not bypassing Pakistan. We are actually hoping that Pakistan too at some stage will join all trade and transit agreements being negotiated under Saarc by all other member nations?," said an Indian official.

After the latest round of talks for the corridor, Azer News quoted Iran officials as saying that along with other international corridors -- the North-South ITC, the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran road corridor, and the so-called Ashgabat agreement on international transportation signed by Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Oman -- the construction of the Iran-India-Afghanistan international transit corridor will not only promote the development of regional trade, but also will be an important historical event.

India and Iran have already signed an MoU for the Chabahar port and it is likely to become operational by the end of next year.

The talks for trilateral transit corridor had started in 2013. Afghanistan is looking at the Chabahar port and the trilateral transit corridor to reduce its dependence on Pakistan.

India and Iran want to increase the Chabahar port capacity from the current 2.5 million tonnes per year to 12.5 million tonnes per year.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Paul » 25 Sep 2015 16:56

So will Iran let Indian companies manage and build capacity in Chabahar. Article is long on rhetoric and low on details

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arun » 26 Sep 2015 09:43

In aftermath of the stampede that killed 717 (Clicky) , Mohammadden Cleric from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani is reported by AFP as saying “"Saudi Arabia is incapable of organising the pilgrimage" and “"The running of the hajj must be handed over to (other) Islamic states".

I agree with the Iranian Ayatollah that Saudi Arabia is incapable of running the Hajj and responsibility must pass to a committee of other nationalities with additional proviso of democratic representation on the basis of Mohammadden population size. India off course will necessarily have to be represented on the committee as a country having a Mohammadden population that is among the largest in the world. Further our “Non-Aligned” status between Shia and Sunni should be helpful.

Our Government must support Iran and other like minded countries with large Mohammadden populations and press for the internationalisation of managing Mohammadden Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Never mind the gnashing of teeth by the Al-Saud family who have monopolised the patrimony of what belongs to the whole Mohammadden world for themselves.

Iran calls Saudi unfit to manage hajj after disaster

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Amber G. » 27 Sep 2015 20:55

Noticed a news item - Mr. Saurabh Kumar has been appointed the Indian Ambassador to Iran. Saurabh is IIT Kanpur alum (86).

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 02 Oct 2015 21:06


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 20 Dec 2015 01:09

NYTimes story, for what it is worth:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/world ... -iran.html

Iran is in the grip of a seven-year drought that shows no sign of breaking and that, many experts believe, may be the new normal. Even a return to past rainfall levels might not be enough to head off a nationwide water crisis, since the country has already consumed 70 percent of its groundwater supplies over the past 50 years.

Always arid, Iran is facing desertification as lakes and rivers dry up and once-fertile plains become barren. According to the United Nations, Iran is home to four of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, with dust and desertification among the leading causes.


As in drought-stricken California, agriculture accounts for about 90 percent of water consumption in Iran. And here, matters are not helped by the prevalence of crude, centuries-old irrigation methods and other wasteful practices.

Where there are no longer rivers and lakes to be tapped, desperate farmers and municipalities are turning to dwindling groundwater supplies. Drillers report that they are increasingly coming up dry, even at depths of more than 600 feet. When they do find water, they say, it is often polluted with heavy metals and arsenic, released as the drill bits break through sediment.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 28 Dec 2015 18:55

Asian imports of Iranian oil in November fell by the most in nine months with India and South Korea cutting their imports as buyers mainly hold off on raising their purchases after July's landmark agreement on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers - China, India, Japan, and South Korea - came to 894,685 barrels per day last month, down 16.2 per cent from the same month a year ago and the sharpest decline since February, government and tanker-trac ..

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/art ... aign=cppst

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chanakyaa » 31 Dec 2015 05:25

Aiyyoo...all those sleepless night spent by JoCerry to reach landmark agreement were for nothing I guess..

Preparing Fresh Iran Sanctions

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 14 Jan 2016 22:10

Iran removes Arak reactor core and has taken another step towards lifting of sanctions:

https://www.rt.com/news/328911-iran-arak-reactor-core/

Iran’s top nuclear official has said the core of the Arak heavy water reactor has been removed - a step that brings the country closer to the lifting of international sanctions.
The announcement by Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, reported by state TV, comes days after he said the reactor would be disabled this week.

"The core vessel of the Arak reactor has been removed ... and IAEA inspectors will visit the site to verify it and report it to the IAEA ... We are ready for the implementation day of the deal [signed with international powers in July 2015]," he said.

Kamalvandi added that the core will now be filled with concrete to make it unusable.

"The core was initially supposed to be cut into parts, but we did not accept this as we want to keep it as the symbol of Iran's nuclear industry," he said.

The reactor core was capable of producing plutonium and its fate was a major point of disagreement during the negotiations between six leading world powers and Iran, which eventually resulted in a deal last year.

According to the agreement, the reactor is to be retrofitted with the help of foreign specialists to be used for research projects and the production of medical radioactive isotopes.

The deal with Iran resolved a decade-long conflict over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. A number of countries, including the US and Israel, accused the Islamic Republic of trying to secretly develop a nuclear weapon - something Tehran denied. The deal provides safeguards that would allow Iran to pursue civilian nuclear projects while ensuring it would not seek to build a nuclear bomb.

The Obama administration hailed the agreement as one of the major wins of his presidency. Obama’s critics in the Republican camp, as well as politicians and government officials in Israel, decried it as a defeat and surrender to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Jan 2016 07:43

http://www.herald.co.zw/iran-targets-ne ... l-markets/
Iran targets new crude oil markets:
Iran has 22 Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) floating off its coast, with 13 fully or almost fully loaded, mapping data on Thomson Reuters’ Eikon showed, carrying enough crude to meet India’s import needs for almost a week.

A senior Iranian source close to supply negotiations said that the country — which has the world’s fourth-biggest proven oil reserves — was targeting India as its main destination for crude.

“Indian crude demand is growing faster than other Asian countries. Like our competitors, we see this country as one of the main targets for Asian sales,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Iran hopes to raise its exports to India by 200 000 bpd, up from the 260 000 bpd currently shipped under sanctions’ restrictions, the official said. At the right price, Indian refiners said they were keen to import more from Iran, as demand for fuel soars on 10 percent annual growth in car sales, a rate that is now faster than China’s.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 17 Jan 2016 18:44

This is a huge development and a major win for "O'Bomber,who now has something positive to satisfy his legacy lust.Bringing in a so-called "rogue state" like Iran into the fold after decades is a turning point in ME affairs.It also balances the influence of the overzealous Saudi Sunni Wahaabis with the Shiites led by Iran,now back in favour with the West. However,the entry iof Iran into global oil exports will smack the Soothi Barbarians and Sunni Emirates Co in the ghoolies!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilp ... l-war.html
Iran sanctions: Middle East stock markets crash as Tehran enters oil war
Prospect of the Islamic Republic pumping an additional 500,000 barrels a day sends stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia into tailspin
Sanctions on Iran and its oil exports can now be lifted

By John Ficenec
10:28AM GMT 17 Jan 2016

Stock markets across the Middle East collapsed as the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran threatened to unleash a fresh wave of oil onto global markets that are already drowning in excess supply.

All seven stock markets in Gulf states tumbled as panic gripped traders. Dubai's DFM General Index slumped 4.8pc to 2,682.56, while Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index collapsed by 7pc to 5,409.35, its lowest level in almost five years.

The Iranian stock index gained 1pc, making it one of the best performing markets in the world with gains of 6pc since the start of the year. :mrgreen:

The dramatic moves came following the historic report from the UN nuclear watchdog, which showed that Iran has met its obligations under the nuclear deal, clearing the way for the lifting of sanctions.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency issued the landmark document late on Saturday evening, sparking mayhem as markets opened in the Middle East.

Qatar’s index fell 6.7pc, while Abu Dhabi’s stocks tumbled 4.5pc to the lowest level since November 2013. Oman’s shares were down 3.2pc, the most since December 2014, and Bahraini equities edged 0.5pc down.

The stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia have been plunged into a painful bear market, losing 42pc and 38pc respectively, ever since Saudi Arabia decided to ramp up oil production in November 2014.

Oil prices fell below $30 for the third time last week as traders prepared for the prospect of Iranian oil flooding global markets.

The Islamic Republic has vowed to return its oil production to pre-sanction levels, with estimates suggesting Tehran will add a further 500,000 barrels a day (b/pd) to the world's bloated stockpiles within weeks.

Fears that the Islamic Republic could quickly ramp up production sent Brent crude falling by 3.3pc to $29.43 - matching lows last seen in 2004.
West Texas Intermediate also slipped back to $29.60, a decline of 4.5pc.

Oil has shed more than 75pc since last summer - a post war record - as over-supply and fears over global economic growth has depressed traders.
Oil price crash means petrol could become cheaper than bottled water
The relentless fall in prices is set to see oil finish the week at its lowest level in 12 years.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/j ... nt-rouhani
Iranians jubilant as country wakes up to first day without sanctions
President Hassan Rouhani hails ‘golden page’ in country’s history and ‘turning point’ in economy as sanctions lifted
Saeed Kamali Dehghan Iran correspondent
Sunday 17 January 2016
Iranians have greeted with jubilation the end to a decade of financial stringency under sanctions after western officials formally lifted a complex network of punitive measure as the landmark nuclear deal was implemented.

Analysis/ Iran celebrates lifting of sanctions but many caveats remain
The IAEA is satisfied with Tehran’s literally concrete moves to comply with Vienna, but hopes that it would bring movement in other realms remain unfulfilled

President Hassan Rouhani hailed a “golden page” in the country’s history and a “turning point” in its economy as he delivered his budget before the Iranian parliament on Sunday, promising internal development and more stability in the region.

“We should use this opportunity for the country’s growth and development and people’s welfare, as well as the security and stability of the region,” Rouhani told Iranian parliamentarians. “This would not possible unless we all unite with each other.”

“Everybody is happy about the nuclear deal, except for Zionists, those who are seeking division in the Muslim world, and a small extremist group in US”, he added, referring to the Israeli government and Republicans in the US Congress who have opposed to the nuclear accord signed last July.

Sanctions were lifted on Saturday after confirmation from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Tehran had complied with the nuclear deal. It came after an extraordinary day during which four dual nationals, including the Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, were released in a prisoner swap with the US. All nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the US, the EU and the UN were lifted, including an embargo on imports of Iranian oil, but other sanctions related to human rights and terrorism remained in place.

A money changer holds US banknotes as he waits for customers in Tehran’s business district

Iranians reacted by congratulating each other on social networks such as Facebook and Telegram and the Tehran stock exchange performed strongly. The end to sanctions dominated Sunday’s front pages in Tehran. “Sanctions are gone,” proclaimed the headline of the reformist Aftab-e-Yazd. “The morning without sanctions,” said Etemaad, while the front-page of the state-run Iran newspaper read: “Sanctions dissolved.”

The declaration of the “implementation day” was welcomed internationally, including by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and the UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond.

Obama administration defends Iran deals on prisoners and sanctions

In the US, Hillary Clinton welcomed the release of American prisoners from Iran and said the world was a safer place as the result of the nuclear agreement, but urged further sanctions to be imposed on Tehran because of its ballistic missile programme.

“I am greatly relieved by the safe return of American prisoners from Iran,” the Democrat presidential frontrunner said in a statement late on Saturday. “These prisoners were held unjustly by a regime that continues to threaten the peace and security of the Middle East ... Another American, Bob Levinson, still isn’t home with his family.” The fate of Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran, remains unclear.

Rezaian was reported by the semi-official Tasnim news agency to have departed the country alongside his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, but this was not independently verified. The four Iranian-Americans were released in exchange for the freedom of seven Iranians held in the US on charges of violating sanctions regulations, including Nima Golestaneh, who has been identified as an Iranian hacker. The names of 14 other Iranians were also removed from Interpol’s red notice.

Clinton said Iran had dismantled centrifuges, disabled a reactor and shipped out almost all of its enriched uranium, which she said were important steps “that make the United States, our allies, and the entire world safer”. But she added: “Iran is still violating UN security council resolutions with its ballistic missile programme, which should be met with new sanctions designations and firm resolve.”

Shane Bauer, an American hiker who was jailed in Iran in 2009 along with two other US nationals after crossing into the country and held for two years, criticised Clinton for calling for more sanctions at the time Iran was rejoicing sanctions relief:

In Tehran, many people stayed up late on Saturday to hear about the confirmation of sanctions removal. “Last night, the people of the Islamic [Republic] of Iran went to sleep with a peaceful mind to wake up for the horizon of a day without sanctions,” Etemaad’s editor, Javad Daliri, wrote in an editorial column. “Yes, at 1am, the wall of sanctions finally collapsed.”

Others, including Fereydoun Majlesi of the Vaghaye-Etefaghieh, struck a cautious note, saying the situation would not improve overnight. “This is a huge development but not a miracle,” he wrote. “We shouldn’t have over-expectations.”

Many people shared their thoughts online. Citing years of financial difficulties due to sanctions, a 30-year-old said on Facebook: “Maybe dollar will get cheaper, maybe petrol too, but I won’t become 25-year-old again. The real hero is me, who has paid the cost with my youthhood.”

As sanctions are lifted, Iran is reconnected to the global economy, with banks re-establishing connections with the European financial system via Swift, which facilitates international transactions. Western firms are now free to pursue business opportunities with Iran but US companies are still hampered by other sanctions that are still enforced.

Saudi Arabia and Iran need each other
Banafsheh Keynoush for Tehran Bureau

More than $30bn (£21bn) of Iran’s estimated $100bn in frozen assets were expected to be made available to Tehran immediately and Iran was due to increase its crude exports by more than 500,000 barrels a day, which will have an impact on a global oil market already in turmoil because of oversupply. It was announced on Saturday that Iran was buying as many as 114 new passenger planes from Airbus, renewing its ageing fleet in the near future.

In a separate statement issued earlier, Rouhani described the removal of sanctions as a “glorious victory”.

“Today, the official announcement of the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action means that the Iranian nuclear program is ‘ever secured’, the tyrannical resolutions against the Iranian nation are cancelled, the sanctions are removed, Iran’s nuclear rights has been accepted by all and the Iranian economy became a global one,” he said in the statement, published on the president’s official website.

“The victory in the nuclear negotiation is not a factional victory, but for all Iranians and the implementation of the JCPOA [nuclear deal] is not against any domestic faction or political group,” he said, addressing the Iranian people. “Now is the time to build and flourish. You people have passed behind the sanctions with patience, dignity and pride.”



EU, US lift Iran sanctions as UN watchdog says Tehran ‘has kept nuclear promises’
Published time: 16 Jan, 2016
https://www.rt.com/news/329205-iran-san ... lief-deal/

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 17 Jan 2016 21:28

Short lived celebration as US imposes fresh Sanctions on Iran.

https://www.rt.com/usa/329240-us-sanctions-iran-ballistic/

US Treasury imposes new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran
Published time: 17 Jan, 2016 15:09
Edited time: 17 Jan, 2016 16:04

The US Treasury says it is imposing new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran after Tehran released five American prisoners. The move also comes less than a day after some of the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program were removed by the US and EU.
Washington has imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for helping to supply Iran’s ballistic missile program, the Treasury Department stated.

“Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions,” Adam J. Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a press release.

“We have consistently made clear that the United States will vigorously press sanctions against Iranian activities outside of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program.”

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says it will also block the assets of Mabrooka Trading, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, for providing Iran with parts used in their ballistic missiles. Others sanctioned include companies and individuals involved in the program, which supervised the testing of two ballistic missiles in 2015.

President Barack Obama’s administration delayed implementing the sanctions for more than two weeks, while negotiations to release two US prisoners being held in Iran were taking place, Reuters reported, citing its sources.

...

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 21 Jan 2016 03:44

Sanctions against Iran lifted: India can pay a high price for lost opportunities

India has been caught unawares by an earlier-than-expected lifting of sanctions on Iran by the US, say government officials who fear that Tehran might turn hawkish on negotiations with New Delhi on economic collaborations inordinately delayed by India.

The only advantage to India would be the freedom to buy “as much crude oil that Iran is willing to sell to us”. The extra oil that Iran would now pump into the global market would be positive for India’s budget as it would exert further pressure on the abysmally-low crude prices. Every dollar decline would reduce India’s import bill by about Rs 6,500 crore and subsidies by Rs 900 crore.

The NDA government’s procrastination over Iran’s request for a loan to develop a rail link from Chabahar port could also spoil the nation’s chances of being the front-runner for port handling. The shipping ministry’s Cabinet proposal to loan $150 million for steel/rail projects was stalled with the Finance Ministry claiming “lack of clarity”.

New Delhi has already delayed concluding the commercial contract for the port — considered both a strategic and an economic asset — set for November 5 last year as both governments signed an MoU last May setting a deadline for signing the detailed contract within six months.

Chabahar is central to India’s efforts to circumvent Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and strong economic interests. It has become essential to India since China assumed control over Pakistan’s Gwadar Port in February 2013.

A lot hinges on the port development including a slew of gas-based projects like urea, petrochemicals and steel in the Chabahar free trade zone. “Talks between RCF (Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers) and PEDC (Pasargad Energy Development Co) for urea plant are on but now it could be purely commercial,” said an official.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 21 Jan 2016 03:53

Another take on Chabahar:

India ‘under pressure’ from Iran to complete Chabahar Port project

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 20:
With the lifting of trade sanctions, India has come “under pressure” from Iran to complete the Chabahar Port project. Meanwhile, both sides have also arrived at a deadline to complete the talks on LNG terminal.

“Now we are under pressure to complete the Chabahar project. It has to be done by the first half of this year,” a top official, involved in the talks told BusinessLine.

The first phase of the $31-billion Chabahar Port project involves construction and operation of two berths there.

In the second phase, India is eyeing the participation of private players – Jindal Infrastructures, Essar, SAIL and IRCON – to develop the area around the port which involves developing a free trade zone and a railway line connecting Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.


Apparently, Iran had asked India to speed up the work at Chabahar Port during the 18th session of the India-Iran Joint Commission (JCM) that took place last month. It was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia.

Apart from this, India is also now speeding up talks for picking up stake in Iran LNG Terminal. After discussions, both sides have decided to complete the talks by February 6 with a one-month grace period. ONGC Videsh Ltd just held a meeting with the Iranian authorities last week, the official said.

The Iran LNG project is located at Tombak Port in southern Iran, which includes an LNG plant with storage and loading facilities.

India had been planning to tap LNG imports from Iran for a long time now. Iran is believed to have offered gas to India at a cheaper rate of at $2.95 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu).

This is most likely going to be a government-to-government deal. However, the official said, talks are on also to form a consortium of public sector undertakings.


If the Iran/Oman-India undersea pipeline is built, will it be cheaper to import through the pipeline than through the LNG route?


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