Head of Iran Export Confederation Mohammad Lahouti says achieving the $42 billion non-oil export target which the country has set for the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20, 2021) is possible considering the recent improvements in exports.
“Considering the growth of [non-oil] exports in late 1398 [previous Iranian calendar year ended on March 19] which continued in the current year, the exports are expected to grow significantly in the second half of the year, and hopefully we will achieve the foreseen target,” Lahouti told ILNA.
“Of course, we missed the first quarter of this year due to the coronavirus outbreak and the closure of borders; however, since over 80 percent of the border crossings have been reopened, the exports growth will be much higher in [the Iranian calendar month of] Khordad (May 21-June 20),” he added.
He further noted that it could also be possible for the exports to increase in the second half of the year to even exceed the $42 billion target.
Mentioning the preferential trade deal with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the official said Eurasia will be a great export opportunity this year and we have also the largest markets in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“China and India are also among our target markets; we are trying to increase our exports to China and hopefully our exports to India will return to normal levels as well.”
According to Lahouti, the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade is targeting 15 neighboring countries for non-oil exports in the current year, and the diversity of the target markets has not changed much.
Iran to launch joint chamber office in Syria
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Export Confederation head said Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) has purchased a building in Syria and the office of Iran-Syria joint chamber of commerce in the Arab country will be opened soon.
“Naturally, by launching the Iranian Chamber of Commerce office in Syria, we can expand exports and investment in this country,” he said.
“When the Syrian market opens and conditions return to normal, we will have various plans for this country as well.”
The official noted that Syria is looking for joint investment, and Iran’s goal is to increase non-oil export to the country.
“Syria is also a good market for joint ventures, but infrastructure must be provided and protocols must be followed,” Lahouti emphasized.
It was only hours before the year 2020 began that China made public the emergence of a highly contagious new respiratory disease – or COVID-19. The world, which prior to the announcement, seemed more than capable of controlling and containing a potential outbreak, has since been crawling on its feet, struggling to adapt to a “new normal.” In late February, the virus found its way to Iran prompting officials to introduce sweeping measures like the closure of schools, sports clubs, and even mosques and other religious sites across the country. People were also strictly advised to stay home and practice social distancing when outdoors.
It was in late March and as Iran’s sports community was still reeling from the shock of the pandemic, the suspension of all sporting events and the postponement of the olympic games to 2021 when it received another bitter blow; the country’s lone Olympic track and field medalist, Ehsan Hadadi, had tested positive for the coronavirus.
After recovering from the malicious disease Ehsan recounted his experience battling the virus. He said: “It was really difficult to breathe but I hadn’t lost hope. Fear is your worst enemy while fighting this disease. If you are afraid, you can not overcome this. My high morale was a great help. This disease is no joke. It can infect anyone. So, whoever you are, stay home and take safety guidelines seriously.” Aside from finicalical implications, the postponement of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo has also had a ripple effect on the morale of the athletes who saw their childhood dreams put on hold and years of training extended. 52 Iranian athletes who have already qualified for 11 events now have to reset their mental preparations.
The 2020 Olympics – now the 2021 Olympics- are the first ever games to be postponed in peace-time. The event that was initially scheduled to start July 24 is now pushed all the way back to the summer of 2021.
This decision came out of a phone call between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on March 25 to make sure athletes can compete in their best condition and spectators can enjoy safe games.
The National Olympic Academy of Iran had to – naturally- suspend its activities following an order by Iran’s coronavirus control center. But the Academy continued its consultation services for athletes online or over the phone. It also started offering online courses for PE teachers in Olympics Values Education.
For a period of time, Iran was behind China with the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths. But the country soon recovered from the first wave of the outbreak and assumed the control of the situation despite US economic sanctions that have drastically constrained the ability of the country to finance humanitarian imports, including medicines and medical equipment.
Iranian athletes and champions released a video clip in solidarity with the people of the world which was warmly received by the sports community and was shared on the website of Association of National Olympic Committees.
In recent history, we Iranians have gone through years of war and sanctions. And I am only sure that we will put this new crisis behind us victoriously. So keep your spirits up and never lose hope.
Iran Olympic Review Episode 1: Iran and Coronavirus covid-19 Reporter: Farbod Khalili Cameraman: Mohsen Roushandeh Video Editor: Amirhassan Saadati Editor in chief and producer: Sadeq Hosseini Production: Public Relation Of Iran National Olympic Committee & Iran This Way www.olympic.ir www.iranthisway.com
Sadeq Hosseini, Farbod Khalili: Nowrouz, the Persian New Year, is by far the most important date in the Persian calendar. The two-week holiday that heralds the spring comes packed with a string of ancient traditions that include family visits of course. That tradition – like many other facets of our lives – was transformed by the unfolding drama of the COVID-19 global outbreak.
Nowrouz under coronavirus lockdown meant no family reunions, no gifts and no dinners, but also meant no parks, no cinemas and no concerts. So Tehran’s municipality came up with a brilliant idea to bring some musical joy to Iranian families in quarantine during these hard times; to livestream one concert every single night of the 15-day holiday.
So on Friday April 3, the NowrouzKhaneh campaign was launched. The concerts were live-streamed on 46 different websites and platforms (ipTVs, VODs – Video-on-Demand). They were also streamed live on Instagram.
Before the pandemic closed down businesses and sent everyone home self-quarantining, Milad Tower was one of the main cultural hubs of Tehran, hosting major festivals and holding various other cultural events. So, the venue was rightfully picked to host the online concerts during coronavirus lockdown.
The Milad Tower standing at 435 meters, the world’s sixth-tallest tower dominates the capital’s skyline.
The online concerts in Coronavirus days on Nowrouz 2020 performed by:
Azeri group of Master Vahid Asadollahi
Gil and Amard Group, Nasser Vahdati
Kurdish group Zhavana, Sadollah Nasiri
Lian Bushehr Group
Tehran municipality: Initiative aimed for concert-virgins under quarantine
Mohamad Reza Javadi Yeganeh, Deputy of cultural & social affairs of Tehran municipality said: “Since people could not leave their homes during the New Year holidays, we sat together and came up with the idea of online concerts or concerts in empty halls. The idea was to bring the concerts to people’s homes. We also had the concept of fair distribution in mind. Many people in Iran had never been to a concert both due to cultural and economic reasons. Tehran Municipality joined forces with the culture ministry, and Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) [to make this happen] via ipTVs and VODs.”
“Bands selected from pop, traditional, folklore genres to appeal to all”
We selected pop, classical and folklore music bands to appeal to all different tastes in Tehran. Given the unknown risks involved, many of the bands were unwilling to participate. The idea of ‘a concert without a crowd’ was far-fetched to some, director of cultural affairs department in Tehran municipality said.
“Tiva TV broadcast concert signals to over 40 platforms”
Majid Sahaf, channel director of Tiva IPTV about broadcasting the concerts said: “Tiva readily picked up the offer by Tehran Municipality, given its technical capacity and experience in the field. We were required to transmit the signal [of the concerts] to all various platforms and streaming services all around the country. And we made this operational. From the first night on, over 40 different platforms used our services. And this went on for 15 consecutive nights. Most of the people used the easiest mode of access which was through web streaming. Their next choice was applications, android and iOS respectively, and finally smart TVs. Many were doubtful about the internet infrastructure in the country. But we faced no issues in receiving and transmitting the signal. People also had no issues streaming at home. No complaints were recorded in these 15 nights.”
Tehran mayor: Online concerts well received by people
Tehran mayor: Online concerts well received by people
Pirouz Hanachi, Tehran Mayor said: “It’s definitely been a positive experience because the world is also following suit. Many famous musicians are performing online these days. I think we set a record [of viewers]. We exceeded the five-million mark in mid-holidays. People well received the concerts.”
Gholamhossein Mohammadi an advisor to Tehran’s mayor wrote on twitter that: “A brilliant idea enabled five million people who’d joined the StayHome campaign to fight the spread of coronavirus to watch live the first-ever online concert broadcast from Milad Tower. Tehran’s municipality feels compelled to protect the health and wellbeing of citizens.”
“Iranians, expats watched online concerts”
Javadi Yeganeh mentions that: “Level of participation was beyond our expectations. Part of this came from Tehran and the rest from outside Tehran and even overseas. The President Rouhani expressed his gratitude.”
“Over 30 million unique IPs streamed online concerts” Director of cultural affairs department in Tehran municipality informed: “According to the numbers we received daily from the association of IPTVs, over 30 million unique IPs watched the concerts in these 15 nights. The biggest achievement of the online concerts was making culture and music accessible to all walks of life in the country during the difficult quarantine days”.
But did the concerts truly attract people’s attention or was this remark an empty official rhetoric?
“The first time I watched an online concert was about 30 something days into my home quarantine. Although I had kept myself busy with different activities, I was feeling depressed and in low spirits. It was quite a surprising scene; the concert was being held in an empty hall but apart from that it was like a normal concert with the stage and props and things like that. After performing each song, the singer would call up and introduce one of the band members who then would bow to the camera. In normal circumstances, the crowd would applaud him but since the hall was empty, there was no applause, and the artists would only bow to a quiet hall. It was a strange and surreal experience. Nonetheless, the experience felt very real to me. Although I was at home in my PJs and drawing while watching the concert, every time I enjoyed a performance I would clap to it as if I’d actually been there in the concert hall. So it was a really interesting experience.” Fatemeh Tehrani, Tourism Activist
“In these monotonous and boring quarantine days, watching live an hour-long concert by Reza Yazdani was a big surprise for my wife and I. I’m sure its memory will stay with us for years to come.” Mohsen Saemi, Construction Project Manager
“I always thought going to concerts was an expensive activity, and given the inadequate infrastructure, only a few people could experience it, maybe not more than 2% of the population. But when I was watching these online concerts with my family at home, I felt that now with these concerts, many people can experience -at least to some extent- how live concerts really feel.” Seyed Milad Nazemi, Journalist
“In these times while some still haven’t grasped the gravity of the situation and think all these safety measures and home-quarantining are nothing but an unnecessary obsession, with others panicking and getting depressed from staying home for long periods, the municipality’s introduction of the initiative only shows the gravity of the situation and the halt in normal day activities. On the other hand, it shows it cares about people and has plans for their lockdown days to make them more tolerable.”
Mahsa Mousavi, Neurologist
The musicians also welcomed the municipality’s initiative:
Rastak Singer: Online concerts in coronavirus lockdown ‘innovative idea’
Farzad Moradi, Singer, Rastak Music Band Emphasized: “I think Iranians are culture and art-loving people who enjoy going to concerts; something that has been missing from their lives [as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown]. We are glad to see the Municipality organize the events despite all limitations. It was an innovative idea. I hope artists can use this platform for as long as the disease is among us. Our performance is audience-oriented. To be honest, we have never had any such experience before, and It was really difficult. During our concerts, given our considerable experience, our main concern is not music but the emotional give and take between us, the musicians, and the audience.”
First time experiencing concert in empty hall
Also Sina Sarlak, Singer said: “This is the first time in my whole musical career that I am performing in an empty concert hall.”
It could be really disappointing to see the concert that you have been counting days for postponed or cancelled altogether. Both for fans and the artists themselves. That’s why musicians of all stripes and sizes from all around the world are taking to social and streaming platforms these days to play live for their fans from their homes or empty venues.
This might be an intuition, or a false hope. But I strongly believe we will ultimately win the fight against COVID-19. The virus, however, is likely to stay among us for quite some time. So for the time being we have to learn to adjust to this new reality of life. This might come with some complications but also with some fortunate by-products like the virtual concerts. In the meantime, keep your safe distance with others and follow health guidelines.
Tehran Review Episode 1, Online concert during coronavirus Editor in Chief and Producer: Sadeq Hosseini Reporter: Farbod Khalili Cameraman: Saeed Naeeni Edit: Amirhassan Saadati Production: Iran This Way In Cooperate: Shahr news agency and Commutation center of Tehran Municipality www.shahr.ir www.tehran.ir Iranthisway.com
Acclaimed Iranian author and translator Najaf Daryabandari, who translated many of the world’s outstanding literary works into Persian, died on Monday at the age of 91.
His son, Sohrab, gave the news on his Instagram page. He wanted Daryabandari’s fans not to visit his house because of the coronavirus outbreak, IRNA reported.
Daryabandari began his translation career at the age of 18 with short works by William Faulkner.
Born in 1929 in Iran’s southern city of Abadan, Daryabandari has some masterpieces in his works, including ‘A Farewell to Arms’ and ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway.
Other translations by Najaf Daryabandari include ‘The Prophet and the Madman’ by Gibran Khalil Gibran, ‘Ragtime’ and ‘Billy Bathgate’ by Edgar Lawrence Doctorow, ‘A Rose for Emily’ and ‘As I Lay Dying,’ by William Faulkner and ‘A History of Western Philosophy’ by Bertrand Russell.
Daryabandari received the Thornton Wilder Prize from Columbia University for translating American literary works.
In 2017, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) named Daryabandari as a “Living Human Treasure.”
After losing his wife and suffering from brain strokes, Daryabandari stopped working. He was a sociable man and many Iranian writers and poets were among his friends.
He never attended university and was a self-taught teacher.
Daryabandari once said that translation is not a science; it is an action to be learned through regular or irregular practice – through trial and error.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, officials and literary figures and organizations have expressed their condolences over the sad demise of the acclaimed Iranian translator.
Tehraners enjoy the chance to experience the drive-in cinema at Milad Tower parking lot to watch Ebrahim Hatamikia’s latest feature, Exodus.
The first night of the program on Friday 1 may 2020 received huge welcome by cinema fans and all the tickets were sold out in less than two hours. Ordinary cinemas are still closed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The first case of Covid19 in Iran was officially announced on February 19, 2010
‘Khoniagaran-e Mehr’ the famous Iranian women traditional music group performed online during coronavirus. The first case of Covid19 in Iran was officially announced on February 19, 2010.
“Khonyagaran-e Mehr” is a female musicians band with a brilliant background, led by Behzad Abdi,that performs various concerts in persian music. “Khonyagaran-e Mehr”, consists of twelve musicians, formed in may 2017. In August 2017 they held a successful concert at the Vahdat Hall with Mohammad Motamedi as a singer.
In October 2017, “Khonyagaran-e Mehr” performed at the “Eimehestan” festival in Armenia and received award from Culture Minister of Armenia. In February 2017, “Khonyagaran-e Mehr” performed at the Fajr Festival with Vahid Taj as a singer.This performance was appreciated by the audience. In july 2017, two music videos of Khonyagaran-e Mehr were displayed for a month in Expo of Kazakhstan. In August 2018, “Khonyagaran-e Mehr” held a concert for Iranian ladies in Niavaran Cultural Center with a singer named “Sayeh Sodeyfi”. In November 2017, the soloists of “Khonyagaran-e Mehr” held a concert with the Organizal Orchestra in Kostiol church in kiev, Ukraine. In February 2018, “Khonyagaran-e Mehr” and Vahid Taj performed in Philharmonic Hall of kiev, Ukraine.
In February 2019, they performed at the Fajr Festival with Navid Norouzi as a singer.They also performed in closing the Fajr Music Festival. In March 2019, they held successful performances in three cities of Germany : Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt. In April 2019, they performed at the “le Magie des Hirondelles du Printemps” festival in Paris,France. In April 2019, held concert in Bern,Switzerland. In October 2019 held concert in Womex festival in Tampere, Finland.
WOMEX 19 is one of the world’s largest music events which hostd publishers, independent musicians, organizers, and state organizations in music every year from over 90 countries.
‘Khoniagaran-e Mehr’ founded and led by Behzad Abdi.
Statistical tables showed that 6,908,000 tons of steel ingot was exported from the country in the past Iranian calendar year [from March 21, 2019 to March 20, 2020], registering a 26 percent hike as compared to the last year’s corresponding period.
According to the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA), 5,493,000 tons of steel ingot was exported from the country from March 21, 2018 to March 20, 2019.
Of total steel volume exported last year, 4,836,000 tons of bloom and billet hit the target markets, showing a 24 percent growth as compared to the same period of last year.
A study of statistical tables indicates that 3,455,000 tons of steel products were exported from the country, recording a 16 percent growth as compared to the same period of last year.
Accordingly, 5,000 tons of steel ingot was imported into the country last year [ended March 20, 2020], showing an 82 percent decline as compared to a year earlier.
Saman Kojuri, Press TV: This year Iranians are observing Ramadan under the corona virus lockdown with bans on mass prayers.
Each year many practicing Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the whole of the lunar month either 29 or 30 days depending on the moon sighting as part of the ritual of dedicating oneself to contemplation and prayer.
This year because of the deadly cornavirus, almost all Muslim-majority countries including Iran have closed mosques and asked people to pray at home to limit the spread of the disease.
In Ramadan, Muslims try to spend more time praying, reciting the Quran, and doing other religious social activities like helping the poor. Fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.
Unlike previous years this year Muslims in Iran cannot mark the “Nights of Glory” at mosques and religious sites as religious leaders have called on people to hold praying ceremony at home to stay safe. Muslims believe the holy book of Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad almost 1400 years ago on the Nights of Glory.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast as an effective way of practicing self-discipline. They are also expected to strengthen their character through self-restraint charitable donations and introspection.
The photo report depicts Social Distancing in practice in all over Iran to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus aka COVID-19.
Coronavirus deaths down 70% in Iran
Iran‘s Health Ministry says the country is witnessing a “declining trend” in the number of fatalities and cases of new coronavirus infections as a result of bilateral cooperation between the people and the government.
Iraj Harirchi, the deputy minister of health, announced in Tehran Saturday that more than 50 percent of coronavirus cases, and about 70 percent of coronavirus-related deaths have decreased across the country.
“There is a declining trend in corona disease in most provinces and this has been the result of effective actions by the people and the government,” Harirchi said.
“I would like to emphasize that at a time when smart and gradual social distancing takes place, any violation can have serious and irreparable consequences,” he added.
The deputy health minister also predicted that there would be “two to three outbreaks” over a year in most of the world’s countries before the discovery of corona vaccines and drugs, underlining that people should stick to the stay-at-home slogan and avoid unnecessary commuting.
President Rouhani: People should continue to take warnings seriously
In a meeting of senior officials in charge of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism that the chain of transmission would break “to some extent” in the country as long as people continue to follow the guidelines drawn up by the government.
“We are on the path to control the disease but if the level of warnings and awareness of the people decreases, the disease may peak,” Rouhani said. “In this situation, we have to reinstate the restrictions. Of course, we hope that people will continue to take warnings seriously and not leave home except for their livelihood.”
“The path to fighting and controlling this disease definitely cannot be traversed without the support of the people.”
Iran’s Health Ministry announced a day earlier that the country was no longer “in the red” as the daily death toll from the coronavirus had begun to slow.
Kianoush Jahanpour, the health ministry’s spokesman, said on Friday that 93 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall death toll since the pandemic first emerged to 5,574.
More than 66,000 people were reported to have recovered from the infectious disease.
Jahanpour said out of 88,194 confirmed cases, 66,596 patients had been released from hospital and recovered from the illness.
“None of our provinces are in the red, but warnings remain, and the situation will not be considered normal at all,” the Health Ministry’s spokesman tweeted on Friday.
Jahanpour called on Iranians to continue to respect social distancing measures, avoid large crowds and frequently wash their hands.
Iran has been doing its utmost to contain the respiratory disease caused by COVID-19 despite the hardships caused by US sanctions.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has not only defied international calls on Washington in recent weeks to halt the draconian sanctions, but has even slapped more such restrictive measures on the Islamic Republic.
Washington re-imposed its sanctions on Iran in May 2018 after unilaterally leaving a historic nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic and other countries that has been endorsed by the UN Security Council.
Washington claims that it has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from the bans, something that Tehran entirely disputes.