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Iran to invest $90bn in South Pars

Iran's Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi

IRAN, March 30, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Iran’s Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi says the ministry plans to invest about $90 billion in South Pars gas and oil projects in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), Press TV Channel reported.

Mirkazemi underlined that about $60 billion will be allocated to the upstream projects and about $30 billion to the downstream sector, the official website of the Oil Ministry Shana reported on Tuesday.

The official also noted that an extra $20 billion will be invested in the petrochemical projects of the giant field.

Mirkazemi further said that the Oil Ministry plans to complete the developing projects of all the remaining phases of the field within 35 months.

The Iranian oil minister also stressed the need for foreign investment in the site to speed up the projects, saying that once all the phases of the South Pars come on stream, the field can produce 25 million cubic meters of natural gas and about 40,000 barrels of liquefied natural gas per day, making the country’s annual revenue from the field hit $110 billion.

Deputy of Managing Director of Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Pirouz Mousavi said earlier in March that more than $200 billion investment is needed for the South Pars projects until the end of the country’s Fifth Development Plan (2010-2015).

Iran’s Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan is part of long term roadmap for sustainable growth.

The South Pars gas field is located in the Persian Gulf in the border zone between Iran and Qatar. The field’s reserves are estimated at 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas. (*)
 
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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in World News

 

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Iran, Azerbaijan back up firmer ties

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) and Azeri Deputy Prime Minister Elchin Efendiyev meet in Tehran on March 28, 2011.

IRAN, March 29, 2011 (KATAKAMI/COM) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Tehran and Baku enjoy amicable relations and the two neighbors’ intertwined security and development call for further cooperation, Press TV Channel reported.


“Iran regards the development and progress of Azerbaijan as its own and is ready to promote bilateral cooperation in line with the two countries’ national interests,” said President Ahmadinejad in a Monday meeting with Azeri Deputy Prime Minister Elchin Efendiyev, who was in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to attend the second Nowruz International Celebrations.

He added that the Iranian and Azeri people have always supported each other and pointed out that no obstacle can prevent the expansion of cordial ties between the two countries.

The Azeri official, for his part, praised Iran’s efforts to hold the celebrations on the occasion of Nowruz and the beginning of spring and said Nowruz is the feast of security and solidarity and strengthens bonds between nations.

Efendiyev expressed his country’s willingness to bolster “peaceful and stable” ties with the Islamic Republic in all spheres.

The second International Nowruz Celebrations wrapped up in Tehran on Monday after participants issued a Nowruz declaration calling on regional people to commemorate the ancient tradition of celebrating the Persian New Year and concentrate their efforts in promoting Nowruz traditions through cultural, artistic, scientific and educational programs.

Nowruz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in World News

 

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Iran gives Nowruz gift to Turkmenistan

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) in a meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Sunday in Tehran

IRAN, March 28, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) – — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has presented an Iranian two-seater airplane to visiting Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Press TV Channel reported.

Iranian Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ali Nikzad presented the gift on behalf of Ahmadinejad to the visiting president upon his arrival at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport on Sunday, Fars news agency reported.

The light aircraft costs $130,000 and has a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour.

Earlier in March, Berdimuhamedov had signed a decree to send 1,000 tons of flour to Iran to mark the beginning of the Iranian New Year.

The decree was signed in a cabinet meeting to further expand the friendly ties between Iran and Turkmenistan and to revive the tradition of sharing foodstuff with neighbors on the eve of Nowruz.

Berdimuhamedov noted that reforms implemented in the Turkmenistan’s agriculture sector had been successful and efforts made by Turkmen farmers helped the country to harvest 1.5 million tons of wheat last year.

The Turkmen president is in Iran for the celebrations of the International Day of Nowruz in Tehran.

The second International Nowruz Celebrations was held in Tehran on Sunday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Iraq President Jalal Talabani, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan also took part in the inaugural ceremony of the event at Tehran’s Sa’adabad Historical Complex.

The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.

The day-long event was scheduled to commemorate Nowruz as a cultural and spiritual heritage of Iran and other neighboring countries which celebrate the Persian New Year.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in World News

 

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Iran supports Afghan stability

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

IRAN, March 27, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has expressed the Islamic Republic’s support for improving stability and security in war-torn Afghanistan, Press TV Channel reported on Sunday.


“The Afghan people … can manage [the affairs of] their own country without the presence of foreigners,” Salehi said in a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, who is in the Iranian capital city of Tehran to attend the second International Nowruz Celebrations.

The Afghan minister appreciated Iran’s services and efforts to host Afghan refugees during the past 30 years.

The top Iranian and Afghan diplomats exchanged views on ways to expand mutual relations and the latest regional and international developments.

The second International Nowruz Celebrations officially kicked off in Tehran on Sunday in the presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hamid Karzai, Jalal Talabani, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov, Emomali Rahmon and Serzh Sargsyan — presidents of Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Armenia respectively — took part in the inaugural ceremony of the event at Tehran’s Sa’adabad Palace Museum on Sunday.

Nowruz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in World News

 

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International Nowruz Celebrations open in Iran

The second International Nowruz Celebrations open in Tehran's Sa'adabad Palace on March 27, 2011.

IRAN, March 27, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — The second International Nowruz Celebrations have officially kicked off in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in the presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Press TV Channel reported on Sunday.


Hamid Karzai, Jalal Talabani, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov, Emomali Rahmon and Serzh Sargsyan — presidents of Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Armenia respectively — took part in the inaugural ceremony of the event at Tehran’s Sa’adabad Historical Complex on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Indian health minister, Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Pakistani Speaker of the National Assembly Fahmida Mirza, the Kyrgyz minister of culture, the vice president of Zanzibar, the Kuwaiti special envoy and Secretary General of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Mohammad Yahya Maroofi are also participating in the event.

Nowruz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.

The day-long event aims to commemorate Nowruz as a cultural and spiritual heritage of Iran and other neighboring countries which celebrate the Persian New Year.

During Nowruz, Iranians set the Haft Seen as an expression of their traditional, spiritual, and social values.

Haft Seen is a table containing seven items starting with the phonemic Farsi equivalent of the English letter ‘S’ or ‘Seen.’ Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (sweet wheat paste), Senjed (jujube), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Somagh (sumac), and Sekeh (coin), are among items that begin with the Farsi letter Seen.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in World News

 

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Iran's first aid cargo arrives in Japan

Iran's Ambassador to Japan Abbas Araqchi

March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Iran’s first shipment of humanitarian aid for Japan’s disaster-hit areas has arrived, Iranian Ambassador to Japan Abbas Araqchi says, Iranian Television Press TV Channel reported on Thursday.

“The shipment arrived in [Tokyo’s international] airport Narita today,” Araqchi said on Thursday.

“From the beginning of this crisis in Japan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Red Crescent Society (IRCS) expressed readiness for every kind of help to Japan’s government,” Fars News Agency quoted Araqchi as saying.

The Iranian envoy said Iran has sent 50,000 canned fish and beans, adding that the Islamic Republic is the first country in the Middle East to send aid to Tokyo.

A second shipment would be dispatched next week, Araqchi added.

On March 11, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, off the northeast coast of Japan’s main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours.

“Deputy Head of IRCS [Mahmoud] Mozaffari and I will visit Miyagi Prefecture to deliver the aid to the officials,” Araqchi said.

Japan’s National Police Agency said earlier on Thursday that 9,700 people have so far been killed and over 16,500 more are presumably dead as a result of the quake.

There are fears of a much higher death toll from the disaster that has displaced hundreds of thousands of Japanese.

The quake is now considered Japan’s deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which claimed the lives of more than 142,000 people.  (*)
 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in World News

 

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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu urges no let-up in Iran nuclear pressure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

MOSCOW, RUSSIA, March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Despite the current unrest in the Middle East, the international community should continue to insist on the closure of Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, RIA NOVOSTI reported.

“The growing tensions in the Middle East increase various risks, and radical Islamic movements could take advantage of these risks,” Netanyahu told journalists in Moscow.

Netanyahu will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev later on Thursday to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the situation in Libya.

“It’s hard for the world to realize this, as it was hard in the 1930s to realize the threats posed by radical movements,” the Israeli PM added. “The most important thing now is not to allow Iran to develop its own nuclear arms.”

“If they manage to develop nuclear arms this regime will never fall. And they will threaten other countries and you too,” the Israeli PM said.

“Iran is not controlled by [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. Iran is controlled by [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei. I see his bigotry and hatred for the modern world.”

“Hitler firstly began conquering the world and then started developing nuclear arms, Khamenei is going the opposite way,” Netanyahu said, adding that only the threat of military operations could force Iran to halt its nuclear program.   (*)
 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in World News

 

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Regional heads to attend Iran's Nowruz Festival

A Haft Seen set

IRAN, March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Presidents of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Iraq will take part in an international Nowruz festival hosted by Iran, Press TV Channel reported.

Kyrgyz deputy prime minister, Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah will also attend the event, scheduled to be held in the Iranian capital of Tehran on March 27 and 28, said an official in charge of the festival, quoted by IRNA on Thursday.

The official, Mohammad Reza Forqani, added that the participating dignitaries would also meet with Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The leaders from Iran’s neighboring countries will also deliver speeches about Nowruz and issue a statement at the end of the event, Forqani said.

He said Iran’s mission to the United Nations would also hold a special ceremony, in cooperation with Tajikistan and Afghanistan, on the occasion of Nowruz and the new Iranian calendar year.

Nowruz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.

During Nowruz, Iranians set Haft Seens as an expression of their traditional, spiritual, and social values.

Haft Seen is a table containing seven items starting with the phonemic Farsi equivalent of the English letter ‘S’ or ‘Seen.’ Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (sweet wheat paste), Senjed (jujube), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Somagh (sumac), and Sekeh (coin), are among items that begin with the Farsi letter Seen.

The items are believed to bring health, love, beauty and fertility in the coming year.   (*)
 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in World News

 

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Iran's Khamenei: West should arm rebels, not bomb Libya

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

TEHRAN, March 22, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / Jpost) — If the West wanted to help Libyan civilians it would arm them rather than bombing Muammar Gaddafi, Iran’s leader said on Monday, accusing Washington of seeking a strategic “foothold” in oil-rich Libya.

In a speech to mark the new Iranian year, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected US President Barack Obama’s assertion that opposition protesters in Iran were the same as pro-democracy masses that have risen up against autocratic governments across the Middle East.

Khamenei has welcomed the uprisings in the Arab world as part of an “Islamic awakening” and poured scorn on the West’s military moves to protect Libyan civilians.

“We condemn 100 percent how Gaddafi was and is dealing with the people … the killing of civilians,” he said. “But we also condemn 100 percent the entrance and interference of America and the West.”

“They could have armed them, given them anti-aircraft batteries, instead they witnessed the massacre of the people for one month,” he told a packed shrine in the holy city of Mashhad.

“You plan to use Libya as a foothold to be able to monitor the revolutionary future governments in Tunisia and Egypt. That is your corrupt intention,” Khamenei said to a crowd that chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Obama”.

The White House said its aim for the bombing — which began after a UN Security Council resolution endorsed action to protect civilians — was not regime change, but Russia, which abstained in the UN vote, likened the intervention to the medieval crusades.

RIGHT ON NUCLEAR

Gadaffi’s concessions to the West over Libya’s nuclear program showed Iran was right to continue to reject any curb to its nuclear development — despite sanctions imposed by countries who fear Tehran might be building nuclear arms, Khamenei said.

Whereas Libya had given up its nuclear capacities in exchange for incentives that Khamenei compared to giving candy to a child, Iran “not only did not retreat but, despite all the efforts, officials tried to increase nuclear facilities year after year.”

While voicing support for demonstrators in the region and condemning government repression, Iran has crushed protests at home and jailed scores of demonstrators since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed presidential election in June 2009.

Khamenei lampooned Obama who, in what has become an annual address to Iranians on their new year, said Iranians who staged huge post-election protests were driven by the same “forces of hope” as the people who brought down Mubarak.

“He says people in Tehran’s Azadi square are the same as people in Tahrir Square in Egypt. He is right, every year (on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution) the people of this nation gather at Azadi Square and their slogan is ‘Down with America’,” he said.

Iran calls the opposition movement a “sedition”, backed by Iran’s foreign foes. It has deployed large numbers of security forces to prevent efforts to rekindle the protests which were crushed at the end of 2009.

On the crackdown in Bahrain, where the Sunni Muslim ruling family has received military support from neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Khamenei said it was wrong to see Iran’s moral support for the largely Shi’ite protesters as a sectarian matter.

“In Bahrain, there is no conflict between Shi’ites and Sunnis. it is rather a nation’s protest against the oppression that is being imposed on it.”

“We believe the Saudi government made a mistake. It shouldn’t have done it (sending troops) and it is making itself hateful in the region,” he said. “They made a mistake and anyone else who does this (send troops) will make a mistake.”  (*)
 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in World News

 

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Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei : 'Islamic Awakening will be victorious'

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

IRAN, March 22, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the new movement that has begun in the Middle East and North Africa “will definitely be victorious”, Iranian Television PRESS TV CHANNEL reported on Monday.

“I announce that… that a new movement has begun in the region, this is the movement of Muslim nations, with the slogan of moving towards Islamic objectives, and [therefore] it will definitely be victorious,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in his speech on the occasion of Nowruz in the holy city of Mashhad.

“Events which have recently taken place in the region, in Tunis, Libya, Egypt, and Bahrain are very important events… a fundamental development is taking place in the Islamic-Arab region which indicates the awakening of Muslim nations,” the Leader said.

“The Americans were baffled by these events…They could not analyze the events correctly and because they lacked an accurate analysis of these events they adopted contradictory stances,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader added that the US has always thrown its support behind dictators. “They defended [ousted Egyptian dictator] Hosni Mubarak until the last minute and when they no longer needed him, they threw him away.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said Mubarak’s fate should be a lesson for US-backed rulers and “they must know that when their expiration date arrives and they lose their usefulness they will be thrown away like a used tissue.”

“The real hypocrite is the US. With regards to Egypt they said we are with the [Egyptian] nation but they lied. They cooperated with the nation’s enemy until the very last moment. They said the same thing about Tunis, that we support the people. Now the US president sends a message to the Iranian people that we support you,” the Leader said, referring to US President Barack Obama’s message to the Iranian people on the occasion of Nowruz. (*)
 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in World News

 

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