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Iranian official calls for negotiations with Washington in Iraq

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02/15/2016 15:48
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BAGHDAD / obelisk: The official Iranian news agency 'Erna' announced that Tehran exported its first shipment of crude oil to the European markets, and for the first time since the lifting of international sanctions against it under the nuclear deal.

And launched subsidiary of the French company 'Total' of the island of Iranian oil tanker came out, the agency quoted Iran's deputy oil minister, Rukn al-Din Javadi was quoted as saying on Sunday, February 14: 'The shipment represents a new chapter in the history of the Iranian oil sector. "

For its part, it reported the agency 'Bloomberg' news agency, that he will be in the next few hours, more than 4 million barrels of Shipping, to French companies, led by Total SA, as well as Russian and Spanish and Chinese companies. It seems that this amount was stored in huge warehouses Tehran has been unable to export at that time because of previous sanctions.

As quoted by 'Bloomberg' for Iranian Vice President Isaac Jhangere Iran intends to increase oil exports to 1.5 million barrels per day in the coming months.

While Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh earlier this month announced that Tehran plans to increase its oil exports by 500 thousand barrels per day in the coming months.

The Iranian minister also said that the company 'TOTAL' French also will buy 160 thousand barrels of Iranian crude oil, though the finishing touches on the contract will be placed in the 16th of the month of February this.

He pointed out that the company 'Eni' Italian is also interested in buying a hundred thousand barrels of crude oil from Iran, adding that representatives of the company will visit Tehran in the near future to discuss the terms of the contract.

Zanganeh said that the company 'Saras' Italian oil refiner Forever interest in buying between 60 and 70 thousand barrels of Iranian crude oil.

Iran looks forward to attracting foreign investments estimated at $ 40 billion to be invested in the Iranian oil industry, including exploration and development.

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Business Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:03pm EST
Related: DAVOS
Iranian banks reconnected to SWIFT network after four-year hiatus
DUBAI

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A red London bus passes a branch of Iranian owned Bank Sepah International in London December 22, 2011.
REUTERS/LUKE MACGREGOR
 

Global transaction network SWIFT has reconnected a number of Iranian banks to its system, allowing them to resume cross-border transactions with foreign banks after the lifting of sanctions on Tehran, a SWIFT official said.

Iran's re-entry on to the SWIFT system, four years after banks were cut off from the network, had became a political issue in the Islamic Republic in recent weeks.

Some conservative parliamentary critics of President Hassan Rouhani had complained the reconnection was not occurring fast enough and the country's nuclear deal was not delivering the expected economic benefits.

 
 
 

Iran is desperately trying to boost oil exports to regain market share lost during years of sanctions, which artificially curtailed its output.

Despite the removal of the sanctions last month, only three cargoes with Iranian crude have sailed to Europe so far, a fraction of what Tehran has promised to ship to its old customers. Traders have said a slow pick up in exports was partially due to SWIFT problems.

"Nobody could pay the Iranians via normal lines, not even in euros," one veteran oil trader based in Europe said, adding that after the reconnection he expected normal banking business to resume.

Iranian banks were disconnected from Belgium-based SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, in March 2012 as international sanctions tightened against Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

The system is used to transmit payments and letters of credit and Iran's exclusion damaged its ability to conduct foreign trade and money transfers. Under a nuclear deal reached between Tehran and world powers, most sanctions against the country were removed last month.

"SWIFT has completed the on-boarding process for these banks and can confirm that they have now been reconnected to SWIFT," said Onur Ozan, a country manager at SWIFT.

"We will continue to work with the remainder of the entities that have applied to rejoin SWIFT to ensure their smooth reconnection," Ozan said in a statement carried on the Iranian central bank's website on Wednesday.

Ozan did not give details of the Iranian banks that had been reconnected. The central bank said in its statement that all banks not covered by remaining sanctions had been connected, including itself, but some of the banks' foreign subsidiaries and branches were still working on it.

Although SWIFT's action will make it easier to move money into and out of Iran, many foreign banks are expected to remain wary of doing business with the country, at least initially.

The nuclear deal says non-U.S. banks may resume trading with Iran, but because Washington retains sanctions against Iran that predate the nuclear crisis and were imposed over other issues such as human rights, bankers are uncertain of the legal basis for business and worry they could still be targeted by U.S. officials.

U.S. banks remain prohibited from doing business with Iran directly or indirectly.

 

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia in Dubai; Additional reporting by Phil Blenkinsop in Brussels, and David Milliken and Dmitry Zhdannikov in London; Editing by Keith Weir and David Holmes)


Read more: http://dinarvets.com/forums/index.php?/topic/216210-iranian-banks-reconnected-to-swift-network-after-four-year-hiatus/#ixzz40W2yNYbk

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Australia eases sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program

 

 

         


3/3/2016 0:00 

 Tehran - agencies 
 decided to Australia on Wednesday, canceling some of the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, after the United Nations confirmed that Tehran has taken the steps required for the program. 
The Foreign Ministry said the Australian in a statement it had frozen some of the sanctions imposed on Iran since the year 2008, but the other penalties are not related to the Iranian nuclear program still 
exist. 
under the amendments announced by the Australian government, not companies have to obtain the approval of transactions involving Iranian entities and valued at more than a $ 20 thousand (14 thousand and US $ 436). 
body concerned with combating money laundering in Australia and expects to scrutinize accounting devices in all payments that are sent through third parties to Iran or North Korea , which are also subject to sanctions because of its nuclear program. 
According to the Commission: the «All transactions conducted with these two countries must be considered as high - risk. » 
America and other countries and raised a formal ban on banks, steel, shipping and other sectors in Iran last January, which would make way for Tehran , one of the largest oil producers in the world to enter the global market , which almost missed it over the last five years. 
and still Washington keep on the prohibition of other measures over Iran 's program on missiles.
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Wow Master Yota.....granted, discussion of this topic could understandably be politically controversial but wow, the US is going to miss out on a lot of potential business opportunities as other countries are jumping on board with Iran as they are lifting their own sanctions against the country.   :shrug:  

 

Who knows.... :confused2:

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Screw ball you're a straight roller.

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Iran in talks to get first credit rating

Wed Mar 9, 2016 1:7PM

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Iran is being billed as the largest emerging market closed to business since the fall of the Soviet Union.

An official says Iran is in discussions to get its first credit rating as the country is emerging from years of sanctions and seeking to put its economy on strong footing. 

A debut credit rating would help the country put itself on the global map for investment and business and cast off reservations held by global companies about entering its market.

"We are in negotiations with some of these rating agencies," the Iranian president's chief of staff Mohammad Nahavandian told Reuters in an interview in London, adding he expected the agencies to provide a full rating.

He did not identify the agencies. None of the major ratings firms among Fitch Ratings Inc., Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services rate Iran.

Iran is being billed as the largest emerging market closed to business since the fall of the Soviet Union, with a tremendous amount of energy resources.

Nahavandian's visit to London coincided with British Business Secretary Sajid Javid announcing plans for a trip to Iran in May at the head of the UK's biggest-ever trade delegation.

b7ba967a-9a3c-4ab3-a2de-a26eac98803a.jpgThis undated photo by the Tasnim news agency shows Iranian Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian addressing a forum in Tehran.

Javid said the two countries had signed a deal to simplify the financing of exports. Britain, he said, was also working with its European partners to help ease the impact of banking restrictions on trade with Iran.  

With a well-educated population of more than 80 million and an annual output of over $400 billion and a market capitalization size of $170 billion, Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East.

The country owns the world’s largest oil and gas reserves combined and also sits on sizable mineral resources.

The lifting of sanctions in January has triggered a wave of interest in trade with Iran among world governments and corporations but financial institutions have adopted a wait-and-see approach.

An international rating will involve scrutiny of balance finances and revenue forecasts, providing prospective investors with reliable feedback about Iran's business environment.

It could further catapult Iran to international debt markets for an eventual bond sale as the country is struggling to bring its economy out of a nagging stagflation.

Oil sector is one of the target areas for investment, with the country seeking to bring some of its aging fields back to life. For now, Iran seeks to boost its production by 1 million barrels per day.

Oil production rise 

Nahavandian said the country would be ramping up its production -- in the near-term at least -- despite talks of an output freeze by some producers.

"Iran has to go back to its market share there is no doubt about that. If there is any decision to be made on cutting production it has to be made by those who have filled the vacuum after the Iran sanctions," he said.

"So Iran has to go back to the footing it used to enjoy, then it will join the group of producers considering production level changes," he added.

Saudi Arabia, which pumped 10.2 million barrels daily last month, as well as Russia, Qatar and Venezuela proposed the freeze recently.

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Obama extends sanctions on Iran for one year

 

AM: 10: 42: 10/03/2016

 
 
  

 
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Khandan - extended by US President Barack Obama, the sanctions are not related to the Iranian nuclear program, a one - year, due to what he described as " the formation of Iran 's great and unusual threat" to US interests and security. This came in the text of the executive order issued by Obama , saying "despite agreement historical to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran 's nuclear program, there are the actions of certain policies of the Government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region, and continues to represent a significant threat, and the unusual national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. " Obama said, in a letter addressed to Congress US these "actions and policies that have pushed him to maintain the sanctions against Iran, because of the threat they pose , " pointing out that the extension is the "life will continue one year." since mid - July 2015, Iran signed a nuclear agreement with the 5 + 1 group in order to get rid of its nuclear weapons program, poised to lift the sanctions imposed on them. the United States lifted sanctions related to Iran 's nuclear program, after the adoption of the international Atomic energy Agency report, Iran 's commitment to the terms of the nuclear deal, while kept Washington 's sanctions relating to "supporting terrorism and activities destabilizing the region , " imposed on Iran . Iran has been conducted several tests of ballistic missiles over the past few days, which raised the ire of Washington and a number of major countries, due to the violation of these experiments with the resolutions of the Security Council.

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Why?  That's what I want to know.  Everyone appears to link it with currency.  I link it to the smell of trouble.   There is no way I could ever accept paying that state 150 billion "dollars" for "ANY" reason what so ever.   Then again we do and ally ourselves with Saudi Arabia and we know how women are treated there.     It's a cruel mad mad world about to get worse.  

But hey, i'm looking up, my redemption draws nigh.   Staying in the light of the spirit and keeping it real.

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Economic sanctions directly influenced the lives of Iranians
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Abu Dhabi - Sky News Arabia

Despite promises of huge investments and important economic relations received Iran in recent months, after opening up to the world against the backdrop of the nuclear file with the settlement, Tehran remain under economic sanctions, restrictions, those that are renewed or not lifted entirely, on the one hand Europe or the United States.

A few days ago showed Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, his country's readiness to pump investments worth $ 20 billion in the energy sector and other industrial sectors, the port Jabhar south-eastern Iran.

The minister also pointed out that the energy relations between Iran and India, "is moving in several areas of strategy is not restricted on the side of oil imports."

 

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On the other hand, Iran lean heavily on trade cooperation westward toward Europe, most recently Italy's announcement to provide credit facilities and financial guarantees of more than $ 10 billion, for the resumption of exports to Iran during a visit by Prime Minister Matteo Rinci to Tehran.

However, the Iranian ambitions in the rehabilitation of the ailing economy because of years of sanctions against the backdrop of the nuclear program, hit the stone of a new Western sanctions imposed on the Iranian people and institutions.

Most European banks and other major banks in the world, refused to deal with Iranian banks or facilitate financial transactions with Tehran, even after less than three months after the lifting of some international sanctions on Iran as a result of the Tehran agreement with major powers over its nuclear program.

The movement of news agencies in recent weeks, complaints of Iranian companies at home and abroad traders Iranians, most of the banks refused to deal with them, fearing those banks subject to US sanctions and other sanctions could cost them billions of dollars in fines.

And intersects the nuclear issue Tehran with other files lead to other types of sanctions on Iran, including ballistic missile program (linked to the nuclear issue) and human rights violations.

 

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In March, the US Treasury Department included two Iranian companies on the blacklist, which cut them any international financing, in connection with the missile program.

Two months earlier, similar sanctions were imposed on 11 companies and individuals, due to a missile test carried out by the Revolutionary Guards in October 2015.

With regard to the human rights record, the European Union recently extended its sanctions against 82 Iranian figure because of "human rights violations" in an effort to put pressure on Tehran to respect its international obligations.

The extension came after the disclosure of the execution of at least 966 people in Iran in 2015, a record over the past two decades.

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History of edits:: 19.04.2016 9:44 • 50 visits readable
US Asks Iran to a meeting today in New York to make progress in the negotiations
[Where - Follow - up] , 
spokesman for the US State Department , John Kirby said the minister would ask John Kerry said during a meeting on Tuesday in the New York of his Iranian counterpart , Mohammad Javad Zarif , Tehran 's help to make progress in the ongoing negotiations in Geneva between the Syrian regime and the opposition.
Added Kirby in a press briefing , "the minister Kerry intends to discuss with his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif ways that could help Tehran to make progress in the special Syria the political process." 
"We are aware that the Iranians the ability to influence on the current situation in Syria and we want the use of this capability in constructive ways. " 
on the other hand , said that the two sides will discuss the issue of easing sanctions on Iran , according to Iran 's nuclear program between the major powers reached the middle of the last year of the agreement.
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Carter and Al-Zayani during a press conference in Riyadh - April 20, 2016.
 
 
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Abu Dhabi - Sky News Arabia

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreed with the United States, on Wednesday, on the deployment of joint patrols to intercept Iranian flying to Yemen arms smuggling ships.

He explained that the ministers "expressed concern about Iran's continuing interference in the affairs of the region," adding that "the defense ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) discussed with the American counterpart to strengthen military capabilities of the GCC countries."

For his part, Al-Zayani said the defense ministers of the Gulf countries, "stressed the importance of working together to develop strategies to maintain the security and stability of the region," Mushir that "Carter reiterated his country's commitment to stand with the GCC countries against Iran's practices."

He stressed the US Secretary of Defense in front of the defense ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on his country's commitment to the security of the Gulf states, explaining that "the meeting focused on the principles, including the defeat of Daash and counter Iran's destabilizing activities in the region."

Carter said that "the US partnership fixed with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the face of Iran's destabilizing activities" in the region, stressing that "the nuclear deal with Iran does not impose restrictions on Washington on partnerships against Iran, threatening the stability of the activities."

He announced the agreement of the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a news conference in Riyadh, following a recent meeting with the defense ministers of the Gulf states.

 

Edited by yota691
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First Published: 2016-04-20

 

Carter calls the Gulf for greater engagement in Iraq to curb Iranian influence

 

US official says Gulf states want before increasing aid to Baghdad to ensure real participation of Iraqi Sunnis in the political process.

 

Middle East Online

 

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US call to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq's Sunni areas

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Riyadh - called US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter Wednesday Cooperation Council (GCC) to even greater involvement in Iraq, and that after meeting with his counterparts in the Gulf Riyadh.

Carter said, "I encourage our partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council to do more, not only militarily as do Saudi Arabia, the UAE and I appreciate it very much, but also politically and economically."

"The Sunni support for the rule of Multi doctrines and reconstruction, especially in Sunni areas in Iraq, will be important to ensure the defeat of the organization of the Islamic state."

It participates Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the international coalition led by Washington since the summer of 2014 against the organization of the Islamic state, which controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

The majority of the areas controlled by jihadists in Iraq's predominantly Sunni. Iraqi forces have managed with the support of the coalition to restore many of them in the past months, but the fighting has caused massive destruction in most of them.

Washington hopes to hand the Gulf states to open embassies in Baghdad as did Saudi Arabia in December 2015 after an absence of nearly two decades.

Also interested in the participation of States in the process of reconstruction of areas of Iraq through the United Nations or "non-governmental organizations," according to Carter.

Is likely to raise the question of the Gulf support for Iraq in talks between US President Barack Obama and Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who met Wednesday in Riyadh at the beginning of a two-day visit initiated by Obama.

They accuse Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, Iran of meddling in Iraq, according to sectarian considerations and especially that of political power in Iraq lies largely in the hands of Shiite political parties. Tehran also largely supports the armed Shiite factions that are fighting alongside Iraqi forces against the jihadists.

A US official said Wednesday that Washington urges Gulf states to increase their involvement in Iraq to counter Iran's influence in it.

The official, who preferred anonymity, "GCC officials want that politics be prepared to do more. We say, Arise more to contribute to the success of the policy."

He said this official said the Gulf countries want to increase before helping Iraq to ensure real participation of Iraqi Sunnis in the political process.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States is not opposed to foreign banks doing business with Iran in line with the terms of last year's historic nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.

"The United States is not standing in the way, and will not stand in the way, of business that is permitted in Iran since the (nuclear deal) took effect," Kerry told reporters before meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Kerry said he was trying to clear up uncertainty in the business community outside the United States about investing in Iran. The Iranian government has complained about not getting the full economic fruits of the July 14, 2015 nuclear deal.

"There are now opportunities for foreign banks to do business with Iran," Kerry said in New York, where he attended a U.N. signing ceremony for the Paris climate accord. "Unfortunately there seems to be some confusion among some foreign banks and we want to try and clarify that."

 

"Among the nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted were those that prevented Iran from engaging with non-U.S. banks, including getting access to Iran's restricted funds," Kerry said.

The only exceptions, he added, would be banks and companies blacklisted by U.S. authorities. He said it was understandable that some companies might need time to feel confident about doing business in Iran, noting that Tehran also needed to take steps to modernize its banking system.

The nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers allowed for the easing of some sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme.

Tehran has called on the United States to do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector so that businesses feel comfortable with investing in Iran without penalties.

'SERIOUS DIFFERENCES'

Western firms also are wary of doing business in Iran because of the prospect that seemingly innocent local companies could have links to banned entities controlled by the increasingly powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), economists and officials say.

Zarif said he hoped Kerry's clarification would help, though he noted that "we will continue to have differences with the United States."

"We hope that with this statement by Secretary Kerry .... now we will see serious implementation of all (nuclear deal) benefits that Iran should (enjoy) from this agreement," Zarif said.

He added that Tehran hoped Kerry's words would "open the difficult path that has been closed because of concerns that banks have about the U.S. approach towards implementation of commitments" under the nuclear deal.

Kerry said there remained some "serious differences" with Iran on implementing the deal. "Those have to be the subject of future discussion, but its important for people to understand that an agreement is an agreement," he said.

Zarif and Kerry met earlier this week at the U.N. to discuss sanctions relief.

Current U.S. policy bars foreign banks from clearing dollar-based transactions with Iran through U.S. banks. But U.S. officials have said the Obama administration is considering ways in which non-U.S. companies could use the dollar in some business transactions with Iran.

(Additional reporting and writing by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Central Bank of Iran: No restrictions banking activity with the countries except the United States

 

 

 

 

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Central Bank of Iran: No restrictions banking activity with the countries except the United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iran 's central bank chairman Waliullah Saif stressed that "no restrictions on Iranian banking activities with other countries except the United States , " adding that " the nuclear deal between Iran and the 5 + 1 group of international, lifting the ban on Iran 's nuclear program but remained the first ban of Ajribt nuclear negotiations " and stressed" the need to make efforts to further improve the banking relations between Iran and South Africa following the lifting of the ban , "adding that" the energies of the two countries to cooperate economic domain as a very large and that to achieve this it needs to establish banking relations and provide facilities for mutual economic activities so that we are ready to find these circumstances, "said Saif to" combat the financing of terrorism law authentication , saying he has taken very positive steps in this path . "

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Iran accuses the United States to «international piracy» on the money

 

 

   
 

 
 

4/27/2016 0:00 

TEHRAN ( Reuters ) - 

The head of the research center of the compound of the Expediency in Iran , Ali Akbar Velayati, the confiscation of America for two billion dollars of Iranian money is an"international piracy" and stressed the states on Tuesday that Tehran intends to complete its money seized in America and retrieve fulfill their rights, he said: "Washington is not hostility to Iran since the beginning of the Islamic revolution and is still, and did not reduce the hostility of this, and the confiscation of our money is an international piracy." 

in the same context, summoned the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador of Switzerland in Tehran sponsor for the interests of America in Iran, and I told him a formal protest stern, the

US court decision against Iran, regarding the deduction of two billion dollars of Iranian funds deposited in American banks to compensate the families of the Americans soldiers who were killed in an explosion 1983 in the Lebanese capital , Beirut, for his part, an official in the Iranian presidential Mohammad Jahromi , announced that his country is preparing a lawsuit in the international Criminal Court against Washington on the issue of use of two billion dollars of frozen Iranian assets.

 

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History of edits:: 27.4.2016 15:51 • 9 visits readable
Sayyed Ali Khamenei: America is still practiced to prevent foreign banks to deal with us
{International: Euphrates News} commander of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that "America, despite the signing of the agreements is still practiced intimidation policy, and prevent foreign banks from dealing with Iran."
And the commander of the Islamic Revolution during his meeting with a crowd of Iranian workers ' cadres on the occasion of working week, "America dodges and manipulating words, expecting the documents but continues its hostile policy against us, and then accuses us bad deal." 
He pointed out that " the US official said he was maintaining the structure of the ban ; to fear the foreign investor, and does not come to Iran to invest in them. " 
and Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the lack of import of foreign goods if they were a national unparalleled, he underlined that" the labor center has had a significant presence in all the events and after the revolution. " Ended h
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History of edits:: 5/10/2016 11:59 • 7 visits readable
Rouhani: we will resort to the International Court on the confiscation of America for Iranian funds
[Where - Follow - up] 
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said that Iran will refer the confiscation of the United States of Iranian funds to file the international tribunal and said 'we will not allow our money to swallow easily and will resort to the International Tribunal in order to restore them. "
During a speech at the gathering of the people of the city of Kerman, on Tuesday, the Iranian president said that since the start of the implementation of comprehensive joint action plan [nuclear deal] four months ago, we have seen Asttmarat directly up to $ 3 billion and 418 million dollars.
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Iran's SWIFT problems settled: Senior banking official

Qom, May 11, IRNA - A senior banking official said in this holy city in central Iran that SWIFT problems have been settled between the Iranian and foreign banks, it was announced on Wednesday.

 

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Chairman of the Coordination Council of state-owned banks Abdolnaser Hemmati made the remarks in a press conference after his meeting with senior Iranian clerics in Qom.

Hemmati said the banking communication and interactions are on the rise day-by-day. 

'The infrastructures have been prepared for creating relations between the domestic and foreign banks,' he added.

'Thanks to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the relations with the foreign banks are being corrected and there is no basic problem in interaction with the global banks,' Hemmati said. 

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) banking system is the global provider of secure financial messaging services.

Last month, international affairs' director at Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Hossein Yaqoubi said Iran has established 300 banking relations with foreign banks since anti-Iran sanctions were lifted in January. 

Under sanctions, Iran's banking relations were so limited and had not been counted up even to ten, he said.

The text of JCPOA between Iran and the six world powers has focused on use of some tools like SWIFT when all international banking activities had been done, he added.

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    • By yota691
      Old Thread if anyone wants to view history..
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      The rocket fire came days after the US evacuated staff from Iraq, citing threats from Iran. It was not clear who was behind the attack, which caused no casualties.
      The attack “embarrassed” the Iraqi government, which has pledged to secure diplomatic missions and protect US interests, senior Iraqi officials told Arab News.
      The Iraqi president, prime minister and speaker of Parliament, as well as heads of political blocs and commanders of armed factions linked to Iran, have held meetings over the past few days.
      “We’re working together to invest our relations with the two parties (the US and Iran) in order to ease the tension and find peaceful solutions,” Ahmad Al-Assadi, head of an Iraqi parliamentary bloc, told Arab News.
      “The outbreak of war between America and Iran will cause great damage to the entire region. Iraq will be the biggest loser because it’s in the heart of the storm.”
      During the meetings, political leaders and representatives of armed factions linked to Iran agreed on a 12-point document that aims “to keep Iraq away from the ongoing struggle between the US and Iran by all possible means.” Al-Assadi said the Iraqi Parliament will vote on the approved document.
      Dozens of paramilitary troops associated with Iran operate in Iraq, and present the biggest challenge for the Iraqi government and political leaders.
      “We agreed that no armed faction is allowed to ignite the war inside Iraq for any reason, and whoever violates this deal will be considered our enemy,” one of the leaders linked to Iran, who participated in the meetings, told Arab News.
      “We don’t want to be blamed for this war, but the situation may change if the US insists on starting this war inside Iraq.”
       
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