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.
Celebrating Women’s History Month (March 1-31), IMDb published a video on Twitter to take a look back at “cinematic history in salute of the pioneering women directors and their groundbreaking work,” the online entertainment database tweeted along the video that featured scenes of Bani-Etemad’s 2014 drama, Tales (Ghesseh-ha).
Born in Tehran in 1954, Bani-Etemad – who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film studies from the Dramatic Arts University in Tehran – is widely considered as the most important female director in Iran, titled ‘First Lady of Iranian Cinema’.
Her movies and documentaries picture social and cultural issues and complications in modern-day Iran.
The Tales – which adopts an episodic narrative – portrays the fates of seven characters of Bani-Etemad’s previous flicks.
The film won the award for Best Screenplay (written by Bani-Etemad and Farid Mostafavi) at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
It also brought Bani-Etemad the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award – dedicated to best film – at Kolkata International Film Festival in 2014, as well as the Special Jury Prize at Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Australia) in the same year.
Also featured in IMDb’s short video were the likes of Sofia Coppola, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Chinese-American film director Lulu Wang, Sarah Polley, and Barbra Streisand.
Banietemad, born in 1954 Tehran, began to make documentaries for the
Iranian National Television in 1979, right after graduating from the
University of Dramatic Arts, Tehran. From 1979 to 1987 she focused on
making only documentaries. In 1987, she directed her first feature film Off the Limits. In 1991, she became the first woman recipient of the Best Director award for Nargess at Fajr International Film Festival in Iran. In 1995, she won the Bronze Leopard for The Blue Veiled at the Locarno Film Festival. Under the Skin of the City, her next film, was the highest grossing film in Iran in 2000. This film along with Gilaneh(2005) and Mainline(2006), garnered major awards in more than 50 film festivals.
While Banietemad’s feature films have
been acclaimed and honored worldwide, her documentaries have also been
successful and popular internationally. Our Times …,
was the first documentary ever to be released in the movie theatres in
Iran in 2002. It was also screened in highly prestigious and prominent
festivals and TV channels such as IDFA, Sundance Film Festival and ARTE.
Banietemad started her work by making
documentaries and has never ended the strong connection she has always
had with her works. Making documentaries have been her main way of
connecting with the society and social issues. Her approach and in
depicting social issues has been so strong and effective that her works
have always resulted in causing change in the lives of her
In 2008, she received an honorary
doctorate from University of London, in 2010, she was awarded the Prix
Henri Langlois from Vincennes International Film Festival. Her latest
feature film, Tales, was awarded the Best Screenplay prize in the main competition section of 2014 Venice International Film Festival.
More recently, she has joined the Academy Oscar, Writers branch in 2017.
Honorary Doctorate, University of London (Iran), 2008
Master Class, School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS (England), 2008
Master Class, Geneva University of Art & Design (ESBA), 2008
Jury Member, Cinema Verite Int’l FF (Iran), 2007
Jury Member, Women’s Film Festival (Iran), 2006
Jury Member, Asian Cinema, Fajr Int’l FF (Iran), 2006
Jury Member, Art University Student Festival (Iran), 2005
Director, Sony Young Directors Film Festival (Iran), 2003
Jury Member, Asia Pacific Film Festival (Iran), 2003
Jury Member, Sony Young Directors Film Festival (Iran), 2002
Jury Member, Moscow Int’l FF (Russia), 2002
Jury Member, Cairo Int’l FF (Egypt), 2002
Jury Member, Fajr Int’l FF (Iran), 2001
Jury Member, Montreal Int’l FF (Canada), 2001
Jury Member, Youth Film Festival (Iran), 2001
Jury Member, Student Film Festival (Iran), 1999
Jury Member, Leipzig Int’l FF (Germany), 1999
Jury Member, Tokyo Environmental Int’l FF, (Japan), 1998
Jury Member, New Delhi Int’l FF (India), 1998
Jury Member, Student Film Festival (Iran), 1997
Jury Member, Locarno Int’l FF (Swiss), 1996
Jury Member, Turin Int’l FF (Italy), 1995
Jury Member, Center for Iranian Film Directors (Iran), 1993
Jury Member, Roshd Film Festival (Iran), 1992
Jury Member, Fajr Int’l FF (Iran), 1990
KÂRÂ FILM STUDIO
KARA Film Studio is a name under which a group of professional Iranian filmmakers express their common concerns regarding humanistic, social and cultural issues through documentary films, while maintaining their own diverse and distinct vision. In KARA Film Studio, filmmakers in small or large numbers, gather together and, starting with an outline of a documentary project, complete the work in a professional manner.
KARA Film Studio operates under a number of principles: personal financing or financing through private sector; working as teams and in a workshop from development of an idea through to its completion and distribution; giving young and talented documentary filmmakers an opportunity to work with professionals and assistance with their development, due respect for the audience by maintaining high standards in the production phase, endeavor to provide improved and increased means of screening films inside and outside Iran; … Rakhshan Banietemad and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb are the constant participants in this group.
According to statistics released by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), major Iranian steelmakers exported 675,000 tons of steel in the first month of 2020.
They also exported 5.88 million tons of finished and semi-finished steel in the first 10 months of the current Iranian year, to January 20, a 25-percent increase year-on-year, reported Press TV.
The figures did not include exports by Iran’s small private sector mills which like other Iranian producers send the bulk of their products to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Iranian steel mills are monitoring the global market for any gap from falling Chinese exports in the wake of a coronavirus epidemic.
China is the world’s largest steel exporter, but overseas orders for Chinese steel are reportedly declining. According to S&P Global Platts, Turkey, Iran and Russia are in a race to fill the gap in the market.
Iran’s industrial metals, specifically steel, are the latest target in the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign, but officials say the sector is unfazed and keeps growing.
In December, 2019, the US government launched the latest salvo in the campaign as it warned against exports of steel-making materials to Iran.
The US Department of State cautioned that those involved in transfers or exports to Iran of graphite electrodes and needle coke, which are essential materials for Iran’s steel industry, were at risk of sanctions regardless of their nationality or location.
However, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani put the damper on Washington’s haughty grandstanding, saying Iranian producers had obtained the technology to make graphite electrodes.
Iran is a leading producer of steel in the world, with officials saying exports continue despite the US sanctions.
The country plans to raise steel output to 55 million tons a year by 2025, of which 20 to 25 million tons would be earmarked for exports.
Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Jafar Serqini has said Iran currently has 35 million tons of steel production capacity. Iran’s steel exports will exceed 11 million tons this Iranian year.
Iran has launched a pilot project for extraction of rare earth after obtaining the technology for deep-level mining, the head of Iran’s largest holding in metals sector known as IMIDRO says.
The achievement will create significant added value for Iran, Khodadad Gharibpour said at the inauguration of the landmark project on Tuesday.
Every year, Iran imports 180 tonnes of rare earth elements which are used in a wide range of consumer products such as catalysts in cars and oil refineries, televisions, superconductors and fiber optics.
Gharibpour was thankful to Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade’s support for technology and research, saying Iran was able to obtain the know-how for extraction of these elements which require deep-level mining and are costly to process.
“The price of each kilo of these elements is between $5 and $60, the production of which can bring in a lot of hard currency,” he said.
Deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Pejman Rahimian said the launch of the pilot plan for extraction of rare earth elements was a “big event”.
The Islamic Republic, he said, has accommodated “the best facilities, exploration equipment and investment” which will be provided to those active in the field.
“Rare earth elements are of particular importance and they are also important in the nuclear industry,” he said.
Iran, Rahimian said, had found a rare earth deposit in Saghand which is already known for its uranium mine in the central province of Yazd.
“If the processing plant is set up in this mine, good resources will be provided to the country,” he said.
Rare earth elements are a group of mostly strategic metals which appear in low concentrations in the ground. They have lately emerged as one of the fronts in an escalating trade war between China and the United States.
“During the recent US trade war with China, one of the places where China threatened America with is the embargo on the export of rare earth elements,” Rahimian said.
The metals are used in a broad range of consumer products, from iPhones, advanced ceramics, computers, DVD players, wind turbines, televisions, lighting and glass polishing to electric car motors.
Some rare earth minerals are essential in military equipment such as jet engines, missile guidance systems, missile defense systems, satellites, as well as in lasers.
Companies such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems all make sophisticated missiles that use rare earths metals in their guidance systems, and sensors.
Iran has already been trying its hand in the production of titanium, joining an elite club of countries which produce the strategic metal used in a range of high-tech manufacturing from military aircraft to artificial limbs.
Iran to become strategic metal producer
Mining in depths of 3,000 meters
Iran is tapping its mines and metals deposits like never before as it feels the pressure of the American sanctions that have hampered its access to normal oil revenues.
That comes as the United States has specifically targeted Iran’s trade and production of metals with a series of bans since May 2018.
Gharibpour said Iran currently has in place deep-level mining on its agenda. IMIDRO subsidiary Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company (IMPASCO) is now exploring minerals in depths of up to 3,000 meters in central Iran, he said.
“The methodology for deep-level exploration is being developed in the country,” said the official who also cited treatment of large mineral tailings as another key focus of Iran’s mining operations.
The country possesses 7% of the world’s total mineral reserves worth about $700 billion but officials say this figure could rise to $1.4 trillion with new discoveries.
After the lifting of sanctions in 2016, officials unveiled plans for $29 billion of mining investment for a number of projects ranging from steel to aluminum, copper, gold, rare earth elements and coal.
Several multi-billion mining projects with the participation of Italian, French and Chinese companies were in the pipeline. Italy’s Danieli had signed a joint venture and agreed orders worth about 5.7 billion euros during President Hassan Rouhani’s tour of Europe in January 2016.
However, unilateral US sanctions upended many of them as European companies turned their back on their governments which had pledged to safeguard trade connections with Iran.
Officials say while the sanctions have slowed the ambitious plans, they have not taken the wind out of Iran’s sails in mining.
The country’s precious metals sector has emerged as the key frontline in the battle, with the Trump administration firing the latest shot early this month.
Washington imposed new sanctions on the sector, targeting the construction, manufacturing, textiles, mining, aluminum, copper, iron and steel industries, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
A senior official dismissed them out of hand, however, saying Iran was on course to export 10 million tonnes of steel in the year to March 21, 2020.
The country is a leading producer of steel in the world with 35 million tonnes of production capacity. It plans to raise this figure to 55 million tonnes a year by 2025, of which 20 to 25 million tonnes would be earmarked for export.
Iranian tourism official Mohammad-Ebrahim Larijani said on Monday that Iran has given a priority to attract the Chinese tourists.
Mohammad-Ebrahim Larijani, the director of advertising and marketing office of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said, ‘One of the duties of the marketing and advertising office is tourism awareness by organizing tours to introduce Iran’s tourism capabilities and the tourist sites of the other countries.’
Iran has the largest resource bases for cultural, natural and historical sites in the world and is among the leading countries in terms of its potential for attracting foreign tourists.
He said that in order to achieve the goal, we host eight Chinese tour operators and tourism industry activists and such a procedure will continue until the end of the Iranian year.
Larijani said that Chinese tourism industry activists got acquainted with the capacities of the provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Fars, and East Azarbaijan, and that China is one of the first priorities of the target markets of Iran tourism industry, and their acquaintance with Iran Tourism Potentials, has a great influence on cooperation in the field of tourism.
‘Last year 11 groups of tourists, including 194 tour operators, tourism webloggers, reporter, radio broadcaster, the influential people from different target countries, visited various provinces in the country and became acquainted with the capacities of Iran’s Tourism,’ he said.
‘In the current Iranian year, we are pursuing this action with greater strength; hence, we have hosted a group of people for 11 days in May,’ he said.
The interest of the world Muslims to travel to Iran as pilgrims and pay a visit to the holy shrines and also enjoy its natural sight-seeings and tourist attractions have been the major potential of the tourism industry.
Iranian people are famous for their hospitality and all those who visit Iran appreciate the culture of hospitality Iranians show when they come across the tourists.
About 7.8 million tourists traveled to Iran in the past Iranian year, ended on March 20, 2019, registering 52.5 percent growth compared to the preceding year which was 5.1 million tourists.
”In the past Iranian year sanctions on the tourism sector were also affected by the cancellation or reduction of foreign direct flights, but fortunately the regional markets and China were placed on our agenda to attract foreign tourists and neutralized the effects,” said Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization.