Iran, Ukraine Underline Expansion of Ties

25 October 2010 | 17:15 Code : 9099 General category

Fars News Agency- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and new Ukrainian Ambassador to Tehran Alexander Samaras laid emphasis on the importance of the expansion of bilateral ties between the two states.

During the meeting held here in Tehran on Sunday, Mottaki described the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the East European state as "positive", and stressed that there reside vast capacities for the expansion of ties in different fields.

The Iranian minister further underscored the necessity for the expansion of bilateral ties in all the various fields.

Samaras, who submitted a copy of his credentials to Mottaki, reiterated his country’s determination for the further bolstering of relations with Iran, and reviewed plans for exchange of delegations.

The envoy said that capacities of the two countries are higher than the exiting level.

Iran has been seeking to bolster ties with Eastern Europe, specially Ukraine, in all the different political, economic and cultural spheres in the last few years.

Last week, Iranian and Ukrainian officials in a meeting in Kiev explored avenues for bolstering mutual cooperation between the two countries in different areas of health, including hygiene and medical affairs.

"The relations between the two countries enjoy strong bases due to their traditional interests and bonds and we should make up for the slump (in the two countries’ relations) in the last few years with rapid strides," Ukrainian Health Minister Zinoviy Mytnyk said in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Kiev Akbar Qassemi.

Iran to join Venezuela LNG project

-Iran’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Company is to take part in Venezuelan LNG production project with the capacity of 5.4 million tons.

Iranian engineers are to carry out FEED (front-end engineering and design) phase of the venture.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is to transfer 10 percent of its share in Iran’s LNG Company to Venezuelan National Oil Company.

Venezuela on its part pledges to allocate 20 percent of its share in Delta Caribe project to Iran’s LNG Company.

Iran and Venezuela signed research agreement on engineering consultation, management and investment in construction of LNG unit in Venezuela last March in Tehran on the sidelines of a meeting between presidents of the two countries.

Bolivian president in Iran for three-day visit

– Bolivia’s President Evo Morales arrived in Tehran Sunday night for a three-day official visit.

His visit aims at promoting and expanding ties between the two countries. 
 The Bolivian president is to sign a number of documents on mutual cooperation in such areas as mines, agriculture, industrial machinery, cement and foodstuff.
 The Latin American press and media reported earlier that President Morales is planning to encourage Iranian investors to invest in Bolivia and also sign contracts with Iran in transfer of technology to his country.
 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Bolivia in 2007 as the first ever Iranian president to do so. During his stay in Bolivia, the two countries agreed on projects worth dlrs 1,100 million in a five-year period to expand relations.

Iran sidesteps trade sanctions with help from Chinese firms

--Copies replace Western-made machinery, though Iranians may have to pay higher prices.

Iranian officials say international sanctions haven’t kept them from continuing to do business with much of the world. At the Tehran International Industry Fair this month, leaders boasted in a brochure that 25 countries were taking part.

But on a visit to the fair, one country stood out: China.

Trade specialists say that Beijing, which conducted nearly $22 billion in trade with Iran in 2009, can supply versions of almost anything no longer imported from Western countries, and can easily circumvent or even ignore the banking complications faced by other nations attempting to do business with the Islamic Republic.

China is building roads in Iran, helping Iranian companies copy Western-made machinery and is poised to take over for French, British and Japanese companies withdrawing from Iran’s oil and gas fields.

"The Chinese are even manufacturing our prayer beads for remembering God in our daily prayers," said Ali Azhabi, an engineer for an oil platform in the Persian Gulf who attended the four-day trade fair, which concluded Oct. 9.

Iranian officials point to business ties with other nations, including Russia and India, as proof that tightened United Nations, Western and Asian sanctions on Iran are having no discernible effect on its economy. At the fair, business representatives from Turkey, Romania, India and Japan, as well as such Western countries as Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, worked the room, eagerly shaking hands and swapping business cards, hoping any future transactions won’t catch the eye of American regulators or trigger sanctions that bar trade benefitting Iran’s military industry, nuclear program and other portions of its energy sector.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions on transactions bolstering Iran’s nuclear program and military. The U.S., European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan have also imposed restrictions on Iran’s energy sector. But companies that sell products such as pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs or cosmetics are under no restrictions, although the U.S. seeks to dissuade all countries and companies from any trade with Iran. Continued

Iran Must Not Meddle in Afghanistan, U.S. Says After Bag of Cash Reported

--The U.S. said Iran shouldn’t interfere with Afghanistan’s internal affairs following a report that an Iranian official gave an aide of President Hamid Karzai a bag filled with packets of euro bills. “We understand that Iran and Afghanistan are neighbors and will have a relationship,” Philip J. Crowley, a State Department spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement “But Iran should not interfere with the internal affairs of the Afghan government.”

 The New York Times reported today that, in August, Iran’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Feda Hussein Maliki, gave a plastic bag filled with euros to Karzai’s chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, on Karzai’s personal aircraft. The Times cited an Afghan official who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

The payment, part of a stream that totals millions of dollars, was intended to promote Iran’s interests and to counter U.S. and other western influence in Afghanistan, the Times said, citing unidentified Afghan and Western officials in Kabul. Continued

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