Sunday, June 20, 2004

IMF foresees 6.5% GDP growth rate for Iran

IMF foresees 6.5% GDP growth rate for Iran: "IMF foresees 6.5% GDP growth rate for Iran

International Monetary Fund foresees real growth in Iran's gross domestic product (GDP) which is expected to stand at 6.5 percent in 2004-05 coupled with relatively strong showings by a majority of sectors, IRNA reported from Tehran.
The Advisory Board of International Monetary Fund (IMF) which recently visited Iran said in a statement, issued on Saturday, that Iran's economic prospect in 2004-05 is satisfactory given the higher oil income and growth in investment by private sector.
The statement welcomes Iranian government's economic reforms program based on the fourth five-year economic development plan (2005-10) and said the plans would pave the way for further economic growth and employment.
The IMF has advised Iranian officials to take necessary steps to scrap remaining forex restrictions in current account balance exchanges.
It said unemployment rate has reduced in the country in 2004-05 period and gross international reserves have grown to stand at more than six months of cost for import of cargos and services.
It added that foreign account surplus however fell and inflation remained at about 15 percent in the period compared to the year before.
The statement stressed the need to increase foreign reserve account assets at the time when oil prices are high on global markets. "

Turkey accepts Iraqi Kurd self-rule - Kurdish leader

Turkey accepts Iraqi Kurd self-rule - Kurdish leader: "Turkey accepts Iraqi Kurd self-rule - Kurdish leader
Jordan Times, Sunday, June 20, 2004
ANKARA (Reuters) Turkey has dropped its opposition to a federal structure in neighboring Iraq guaranteeing broad autonomy for the country's Kurds, a senior Iraqi Kurdish leader was quoted as saying on Saturday. Ankara has long been concerned that self-rule for the Kurds of northern Iraq could reignite secessionist violence among its own Kurdish population in southeastern Turkey. More than 30,000 people died in separatist violence there in the 1980s and 1990s.
But Masoud Barzani, leader of one of the two main Iraqi Kurdish parties, said a visiting delegation of high-level Turkish officials had recently signaled a more relaxed attitude towards the issue of Kurdish autonomy.
'[They] told us Turkey was not opposed to the granting of federal status to Iraqi Kurdistan within the structure of a unified Iraq,' NTV television quoted Barzani as saying.
Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment on the report. "

Iran On The Road To Sustainable Development

Mehr News Agency English: "Iran On The Road To Sustainable Development
TEHRAN, June 20 (MNA) -- The Advisory Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a statement in Tehran on Saturday predicting a strong and growing economy for Iran from 2004 to 2005.
According to the international institution, Irans economy will grow 6.5% during the next two years.

The IMF welcomed the objectives of Irans Fourth Economic Development Plan and emphasized that the way is open for the country to achieve sustainable economic development.

Economists say various factors have contributed to Iran�s sustained economic growth.

The increase of oil revenues and foreign exchange reserves, control of inflation, the growth of the industrial sector, and the increase in the level of trade are some factors that have led to the improvement of Irans economic indices.

In general, the economic policies Iran implemented in line with the Third Development Plan, the enhancement of investment protection, and the country�s stable economy are the main factors behind the recent economic growth.

The implementation of the laws on supporting private sector investments and exports was another effective measure taken in this regard.

In general, Irans economic sector has undergone positive growth over the past two years. This has led to an increase in wages and purchasing power and a rise in economic activities.

Irans economic indices show that the economy is growing.

In 2002, Iran had the highest rate of economic growth in the Middle East. The average economic growth rate was 1.8% in Persian Gulf littoral states and 2.6% in North African and Middle Eastern countries in 2002. However, Irans economic growth rate was 7.4% that year.

Australian Financial Review - Israeli agents working in Iraq, Iran

Australian Financial Review -: "Israeli agents working in Iraq, Iran
Jun 21 08:23

Israeli intelligence and military agents were working secretly in Iraq's Kurdistan region, and had slipped into Iran to monitor nuclear facilities, the New Yorker magazine reported on Sunday.
Members of Israel's Mossad secret service were among the agents working in Iraq, where some posed as businessmen, but in reality were training Kurdish commandos in the northern part of the country, the report said.
Israel's embassy in Washington denied the claim, but the magazine said a senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency confirmed that Israelis were working in Iraq.
Israel's government decided six months ago that the United States would not succeed in bringing stability and democracy to Iraq, and believed it needed agents in the country, The New Yorker said.
In working with Kurds, Israel had its eyes and ears on Iran, Iraq and Syria, the magazine said. After a June 30 handover to an interim Iraqi government, Israel wanted to have Kurdish commandos trained as a counter-balance to Shi'ite militias, it said.

Israeli agents and Kurdish commandos had already crossed Iraq's border into Iran, where they had set up sensors and other devices to monitor Iranian nuclear facilities.
A former CIA officer also told the magazine that Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi had worked as an agent for Saddam Hussein's Baath Party in the 1960s and 1970s, and had links to the killings of Iraqi dissidents across Europe."

Iran to announce revisions to its nuclear polici

Navhind Times on the Web: World: "Iran to announce revisions to its nuclear policies
Teheran June 20: Iran is to announce revisions to its nuclear policies over the next few days, foreign ministry spokesman Mr Hamid Reza Assefi said on Sunday.
�Iran feels itself no longer obliged to its commitments with the European Union trio and will revise its policies on nuclear activities and announce the new decisions within the coming days,� Mr Assefi was quoted by the news agency Irna as saying.
Resumption of uranium enrichment is expected to be the most important element of the revision but Teheran, although not ruling out the possibility, stressed it had no plans to resume this programme in the imminent future.
�The Europeans had promised to bring the Iranian nuclear file at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to an end but did eventually not do so,� the spokesman said."

More Afghans returning home from Iran - (United Press International)

More Afghans returning home from Iran - (United Press International): "More Afghans returning home from Iran

Tehran, Iran, Jun. 20 (UPI) -- About 13,000 Afghans have been repatriated from Iran in recent months and the exodus is continuing, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported Sunday.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Alireza Reza'i told IRNA that a convoy taking 788 Afghan family members left Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, Saturday for the Dogharoun border checkpoint in the northeastern province of Khorassan.
'A growing number of applications for repatriation have been filed by Afghan refugees within the past few days,' he said.
Other sources said the Afghanis who had left home because they did not want to live under the Taliban Islamic militant regime now want to return because they see the situation in their country as slowly stabilizing.
Reza'i noted that upon arrival in Afghanistan, every Afghan refugee receives between $5-25 from the UNHCR to cover the expenses of the inland trip to their final destination. "

V.P. Mar'ashi invites Archeological Research to Iran

Mehr News Agency English:

Vice President Seyyed Hussein Mar'ashi, director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) and Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran is opening the door for foreign researchers to visit and work in the Republic. Iran is an archeological treasure trove and the Government is working to preserve that heritage for all mankind. JBOC

"CHTO to Provide Facilities for Archeological Research: Official
TEHRAN, June 20 (MNA) - Seyyed Hussein Mar'ashi, director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) said yesterday that his organization welcomes any common scientific studies, research, and academic cooperation with foreign scientists.
He said research centers active in Iranian archeological efforts would be provided with all necessary facilities.

The new CHTO chief said anything defined in Iran as human civilization, yet to be discovered does not only belong to Iran but, is a part of world history, culture, and civilization.

Encouraging young archeologists, he said archeological research would be supported without financial restrictions in all Iranian universities. Adding, CHTO research centers will be equipped with the latest technology.

Mar'ashi anticipates that archeological research in Iran will expand in both quality and quantity paving the way for cooperation with global research centers and foreign universities."

Iranian War on Drugs - Drug Haul in Bandar Abbas Iran

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport iran news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Drug Haul in Bandar Abbas Iran
Jun 20, 2004, 09:51

The Anti-Drug Campaign Headquarters in Bandar Abbass yesterday seized 406 kg of illicit drugs in the city of Roudan during the first three months of the year, it was reported.

The police announced that the drugs seized consisted of 273 kgs of opium and 130 kgs of hashish. One hundred sixty-two traffickers and addicts from all over the province were arrested in connection with the haul. Over the past three years, a total of 669 kg of illicit drugs have been confiscated in this province, the police further reported.

Iran straddles major international transit routes of drugs from Afghanistan and Pakistan, better known as the 'Golden Crescent', on their way to lucrative markets in Europe, the Persian Gulf and Central Asia.

The country accounts for 80 percent of the opium and 90 percent of the morphine intercepted worldwide, according to the International Narcotics Board"

Head of Iran's House of Parties, Chinese Official Discuss Ties

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport iran news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Head of Iran's House of Parties, Chinese Official Discuss Ties

Head of Iran's House of Parties Hassan Ghafouri-Fard and Deputy Head of the Chinese National Congress Ismaeil Amati discussed the bilateral ties in all areas including the cooperation between the two parliaments and parties.

In their Friday meeting, the two sides reviewed the bilateral cooperation in the governmental and non-governmental sectors in all economic, trade and cultural arenas. Ghafouri-Fard said the Iran-China relations in the political, cultural and economic areas have a long history and these ties were remarkably improved ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. He said Iran has invariably considered China as an Asian power and decided to boost its relations with it.

He went on to say that the relations between the two country's parties which started in the early years of Iran's revolution have always been moving ahead and improving adding that the Iranian parties attach high priority to the bilateral cooperation with the Chinese parties. Ghafouri-Fard said the recent visit to China by the Speaker of the Iranian parliament shows the importance of the two countries' parliamentary ties. "

Iran condemns killing of Johnson

: Iran condemns killing of Johnson

"TEHRAN, June 20 (AFP) - Iran on Sunday condemned as 'inhumane' the killing in Saudi Arabia of US defence worker Paul Marshall Johnson, but said the United States' 'wrong' policies were to blame.

'The murder of a person is always inacceptable for us,' foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.'This is an inhumane act, but we must not forget that all this violence and this hate is increasing because of the wrong policies of the United States in its war against terrorism,' he added.

'By continuing their policies, the US is not only failing to reduce terrorism, but increasing it.'Johnson was beheaded despite last-minute pleas to spare his life, including an impassioned appeal by the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest shrine, for an end to attacks on non-Muslims in the oil-rich kingdom.

The death of the 49-year-old US national, who worked with aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, triggered a wave of anger in the United States with officials from President George W. Bush down vowing to avenge it.

The beheading was attributed to Al-Qaeda's leader in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, who was one of four militants gunned down Friday night in a gunbattle with Saudi security forces."