The energy affairs magazine quoted a senior source who was linked to the Iranian Oil Ministry, as stating that this enormous investment represents a key point in a new agreement, worth $400, inked between the two countries. This was confirmed during Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to China in late August, to present a roadmap for the strategic comprehensive partnership agreement, which concluded in 2016.
China’s investment in Iranian oil and gas industry has been put at the focal attention amid trade war between China and US and tight competition of these two countries concurrent with the US sanctions imposed on Iran.
Accordingly, this investment will be made as a solution for bypassing and circumventing US sanctions by Chinese companies.
The CBI vice governor added that up to now, 72 percent of the project has been implemented.
There has been a new wave of interest in ties with Iran since Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany – reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear program in 2015.
The comprehensive nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), terminated all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.
China‘s Iranian crude oil imports may rise to a record this year as state-owned oil firms lift more crude through their upstream investments while extending their current supply contracts, senior industry and trading sources said.
Chinese firms were expected to lift between three million to four million barrels more Iranian oil each quarter in 2017 than last year, four sources with knowledge of the matter estimated. That would be about five percent to seven percent higher than the 620,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude the country has imported during the first 11 months of 2016, according to the customs data.
China’s demand for foreign crude could touch new highs as state-run refiners start up new plants and as Beijing allows more independent refiners to import crude, with the country forecast to remain a key driver of 2017 demand growth.
State refiner Sinopec Corp and state-run oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the two biggest Chinese lifters of Iran’s oil, are set to roll over annual supply agreements with National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), with combined volumes of about 505,000 bpd, two sources with knowledge of the agreements said.
A press official with Sinopec said the company does not comment on operational matters. CNPC and NIOCdid not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sinopec signed a development deal for the Yadavaran field in late 2007 with CNPCsigning a deal for the North Azadegan field in 2009, after Japanese and European companies pulled out of the projects, both in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan, due to sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.
Both fields started pumping oil in early 2016, with North Azadegan reaching full production in the third quarter and Yadavaran in the fourth quarter, and they are currently pumping at around 160,000 bpd.
“The terms of return on investment are still being finalized …but it’s safe to say Sinopec is going to lift more from Yadavaran this year than last,” said a Beijing-based oil executive familiar with Sinopec’s operations on Yadavaran.
A separate senior trading source estimated that Sinopec could lift about four million barrels of Yadavaran crude, considered a heavy grade with an API gravity rating of about 25, every quarter this year. The person did not give an earlier comparison.
After first shipments last October, CNPC is expected to lift an average of about three million barrels from North Azadegan each quarter, said a second senior trader with knowledge of CNPC’s Iranian production. /Reuters
Ahmad Sadeqi Golmakani told IRNA that a Chinese state-owned company has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth $2 billion with the Iranian side to invest in SPEZ.
He said the MoU is considered the biggest foreign investment in that region, adding that foreign investments in Sarakhs Special Economic Zone have increased in the past year.
Several foreign investors from South Korea, Italy and Chinahave recently voiced their willingness to invest in the region, he noted.
SPEZ, which covers an area of 5,290 hectares, is situated the northeast of Iran and connects ports on the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia.
In view of its geographical location as in the center of ECO countries, the zone is being considered the golden gate for Central Asia, China and Russia. It connects major trade markets in Central Asia with the Persian Gulf countries in the south of Iran, Europe in the west as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east of the country.
Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) has announced that the country’s volume of non-oil exports to China has experienced a 52 per cent upswing since 2013.
On the basis of a report published by Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the volume of Iran’s non-oil exports to China from 2009 to 2013 stood at 18.767 billion dollars while the figure for 2013 henceforth has amounted to the aggregate total of 28.514 billion dollars.
Iran’s foreign trade statistics reveal that the country’s non-oil exports have undergone and unprecedented uplift since over the past four years as the volume for China rose from $7.458bn to $9.389bn only one year after the incumbent government took office in 2013.
China’s share in the total volume of Iran’s non-oil exports reached 18 per cent in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (began March 20).
The East Asian country ranks first in the Iranian exports market and purchased a total 4.438 billion dollars of goods from Iran from March 20 to October 21.
Given the natural rise in non-oil exports to China in final months of Iranian years, Iran’s volume of Exports to the East Asian state is expected to rise by 52 per cent since the incumbent Iranian government took office.
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
Production of crude steel in Iran has risen 14.1 percent in March 2020 from March 2019, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO)announced citing the data indicated in the World Steel Association (WSA)’s latest report.
The WSA’s report, which is on steel production by 64 countries, put Iran’s steel output at over 2.8 million tons in March, IRNA reported.
The report also says that crude steel production by the 64 producers has fallen 1.3 percent during the first quarter of this year from the same time span in the past year.
Production by China, the world’s largest steel producer, dropped 1.7 percent in March, while rising 1.2 percent in the first quarter on an annual basis, the same report confirmed.
Iran’s monthly performance was reported as being prominent in the region, as its rival Turkey could achieve a growth of just 4.1 percent in March.
WSA has previously announced that Iran’s crude steel production climbed 30 percent in 2019 while the average global growth in this sector stood at 3.5 percent.
According to the global organization, Iran produced 31.9 million tons of crude steel in 2019, while the figure was 24 million tons in 2018.
The data and reports released by Iranian organizations also show that the country’s steel sector is still experiencing growth in output and export despite the U.S. sanctions.
In early May 2019, Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran’s metals and minerals sectors in an attempt to [as the U.S. president Trump put it] “choke off the country’s largest non-petroleum related sources of export revenue”.
During the 2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic, Iran reported its first confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections on 19 February 2020 in Qom. The virus may have been brought to the country by a businessman from Qom who had traveled to China. In response to the coronavirus the Iran’s government cancelled public events and Friday prayers; closed schools, universities, shopping centers, bazaars, and holy shrines; and banned festival celebrations.
Iran coronavirus fatalities drop to double figures for first time in month
Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki says the number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus pandemic has dropped to double figures for the first time in one month.
Speaking to the Iranian people on Instagram live on Tuesday 14 April 2020, Namaki hailed the country’s “proper” fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that 98 deaths from the disease were registered in the past 24 hours.
“We are implementing smart distancing and have announced protocols for it. We want to say that we are currently at a more appropriate situation,” he said.
Namaki, however, warned that the country will face new challenges if health protocols and smart distancing are not observed properly.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the new deaths brought the total number of fatalities to 4,683 since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran in late February.
Jahanpour added 1,574 new infections had been recorded over the past 24 hours, taking the overall number of confirmed cases to 74,877.
He noted that 48,129 of hospitalized patients had recovered and been discharged, and that 3,691 people are in critical conditions.
Iran health minister hailed the country’s “proper” fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that 98 deaths from the disease were registered in the past 24 hours.
Iran’s successful response to the virus comes despite the illegal US sanctions, which are hampering the country’s efforts to rein in the virus.
Iran has been employing strict precautionary measures since the virus surfaced in the country. It has heavily ramped up the required health services, including by increasing the number of hospital beds, and shot up the production of disinfectants and relevant sanitary items.
The Health Ministry reported Monday that new cases of coronavirus infections and deaths from the viral outbreak had been declining across most of the country’s 31 provinces.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Iran has handled the novel
coronavirus outbreak better than Europe and the United States, assuring
that the country’s stocks of basic commodities are replenished better
than ever, unlike the scenario unfolding in the US and many other
Despite a series of unjust US sanctions, Iran managed to push up its copper exports to one billion dollars in the past calendar year (ending March 19, 2020), doubled in comparison with the same period in preceding year.
Iran’s largest metals and mining holding, said on Sunday that the value of exports for main copper products reached more than $1 billion over the past year, a senior official at IMIDRO was quoted as saying by Press TV.
Aqajanlou added that total turnover for the Iranian copper industry exceeded $4.5 billion over the past year and the NICICO posted a return on investment of 143 percent.
He said another historic achievement for the copper smelters in Iran was to reach a total output of 1.18 million metric tons of concentrate last year while production for copper cathode reached an all-time high of 250,130 tons.
He said that copper cathode accounted for more than two thirds of total domestic consumption for purified copper which was over 160,000 tons over the past year.
That means that copper concentrate, a relatively raw from of the metal, accounted for a bulk of Iran’s exports, an issue which has faced criticism with many believing the NICICO should create more capacity for using copper concentrate inside Iran rather than shipping it in large quantities to countries like China.
Aqajanlou rejected the criticism and said the current supply and demand situation in the Iranian copper industry makes exports of concentrates more preferable.
Some experts also believe that rising exports for raw copper at a time of increased American bans on Iran’s trade of lucrative metals could also help the government access new hard currency resources.
In early January 2020, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran on Friday, including penalties on the Islamic Republic’s metals and some senior government officials. Following Tehran’s retaliation for the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the new measures at a press conference at the White House .
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi lambasted Washington for the new sanctions, saying, “Unfortunately, the Americans have adopted unilateral, illegal and fruitless behaviors and are stressing to repeat them.”
“Such efforts will be to no avail,” Mousavi said, adding, “The American regime will finally be forced to accept its failure.”
He said the new sanctions are a clear violation of UN Resolution 2231 and have targeted the industries that are directly related to the normal life of millions of Iranians.