Monday, August 02, 2004

Photo Shaha Ali Riza - Paul Wolfowitz's romantic interest

Notes on Shaha Ali Riza: "Notes on Shaha Ali Riza
Paul Wolfowitz's romantic interest
Shaha Ali Riza
Shaha Riza is the acting manager for External Relations and Outreach for the Middle East and North Africa Region at rthe World Bank.
Shaha Ali Riza is a senior World Bank official who was born in Tunis, grew up in Saudi Arabia and holds an international relations masters degree from St Anthony�s College, Oxford. Close acquaintances of the couple have told The Daily Telegraph that she is romantically linked with Wolfowitz, 61, a fellow divorcee with whom she has been friends for several years.
Dual Loyalties: Special �relationship� behind US West Asia policy
Dual Loyalties: Strange bedfellows? Wolfowitz has Arab feminist girlfriend"

Agricultural Sector Prepared for Iran’s Accession to WTO

Description of Selected News: "Agricultural Sector Prepared for Iran’s Accession to WTO

Tehran Times Agriculture Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Agriculture Jihad Minister Mahmud Hojjati said here on Monday that Iran’s agricultural sector is prepared for Iran’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Hojjati told IRNA that preliminary research shows that the agricultural sector will not be significantly disrupted if Iran joins the WTO.

Based on the agreement of the agriculture jihad and commerce ministries, tariffs will be imposed on most imports of agricultural products during the current Iranian calendar year (began March 21, 2004).

In line with Iran’s Third Five-Year Development Plan (2000-2005), the Agriculture Jihad Ministry and the Commerce Ministry are making efforts to eliminate the all non-technical problems in agricultural sector trade.

Hojjati noted that the illegal importation of products such as tea, sugar, and rice by smugglers is one of the major problems of Iran’s agricultural sector.

For the past eight years ago, the United States has opposed Iran’s request to join the WTO."

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News

"Iran Processes World’s Highest Rate Of Cotton Fiber

Tehran Times Agriculture Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Iran has the highest rate of global processed cotton fiber per hectare of land said here director of the Union of Cotton Farmers’ Cooperatives.

While the average world rate of cotton fiber production is between 600-630 kilograms per hectare of land, in Iran the ratio topped 730 kilograms in the past year, Bahram Nazari told Fars News Agency on Monday.

“Given the 10 to 15 percent increase in the land under cotton cultivation, we anticipate a 15 to 20 percent hike in domestic cotton production,” he also noted.

He also asserted that cotton produced in Iran is of the highest quality in demand in 80 percent of the market."

Azerbaijan calls for expansion of relations with Iran

Azerbaijancalls for expansion of relations with Iran: "Azerbaijancalls for expansion of relations with Iran

Baku, Aug 3, IRNA -- Azerbaijan`s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov said on Monday his country wants to expand all kinds of relations with Iran.

He said expansion of cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran is a priority in Azerbaijan Republic foreign policy and Baku regards this issue as a very important and valuable matter. Khalafov described upcoming visit of Iran`s president to Baku 'very important' and evaluated the trip as an important step towards expanding bilateral relations.

In response to a question concerning Azeri foreign minister`s comments in a joint press conference in Tehran about Iranian Azeris, Khalafov said,' Iran is the historical motherland of the Azeris, therefore, all issues concerning to them is just an internal affair'. Concerning the opening of the Azerbaijan Republic Consulate in Tabriz, he expressed hope that the negotiations about this concludes soon. "

Iran, Armeniakeen to expand cultural ties

Iran, Armeniakeen to expand cultural ties: "Iran, Armeniakeen to expand cultural ties

Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA -- A visiting high ranking Armenian delegation and officials from Tehran Municipality Art and Culture Department in a meeting here Monday reached agreement on cooperating in the field of urban architecture and bolstering cultural ties. A report released by the Public Relations Department of Tehran Municipality Art and Culture Department said that the meeting mainly focused on urban development and culture.

Head of Tehran Municipality Art and Culture Department Esfandiar Rahim Mosha`ie referred to Iranian Armenians as good citizens and said that their crucial role in pivotal occasions such as the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Sacred Defense as well as in cultural, political and social affairs is quite evident. He referred to peaceful coexistence between Armenians and Iranians as an exemplary model for all world nations.

Turning to the experience of Tehran Municipality in seeking the expertise of other countries to optimize the architecture of the capital city, he expected close cooperation with Armenian architects in future. The official also hoped to sign official agreements for expansion of mutual ties in the domains of art and culture. For his part, Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture Gagik Gurjian pointed to the history of Iran-Armenia cultural and artistic cooperation and appreciated Iran`s special interest in such collaboration.

Turning to the submersion of the significant religio-historical monument of
Zorzor church in West Azarbaijan province, he said, "The ancient church was restored at a higher altitude through joint efforts of Irano-Armenian experts and engineers. Pointing to the restoration of the archaic church as a great achievement, he said that the issue is currently being examined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
"In addition to cooperation between the two countries in the field of architecture, Iran and Armenia can also cooperate in other fields such as introducing the religious and spiritual feasts," he concluded."

Khatami leaves for East Azarbaijan province

Khatamileaves for East Azarbaijan province: "Khatamileaves for East Azarbaijan province

Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami left Tehran for East Azarbaijan provincial capital of Tabriz on Monday. The president is being accompanied on the visit by ministers of culture and Islamic guidance, communications and information technology, health and medical education, agriculture jihad as well as science, research and technology.

During his visit, President Khatami is scheduled to meet the people of the city of Kaleibar. This will be the first meeting he will attend. On the last day of his trip to the province on Wednesday, the chief executive will attend the `Constitution` conference due to open in the provincial capital of Tabriz. The `Constitution conference marking the 99th anniversary of the 1906 Constitutional Movement which will be attended by a number of intellectuals and officials. He is also expected to inaugurate several provincial development projects including Abesh-Ahmad water supply project in Kaleibar area and Jolfa Free Trade Zone.

The president will also attend a meeting to be held by East Azarbaijan Development Council. "

IRNA-Islamic Republic News Agency

IRNA-Islamic Republic News Agency: "Iran-Switzerland-Ambassador / POL /
Khatami terms Switzerland as international capital of cultures Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami here Monday referred to the positive Tehran-Bern relations and described Switzerland as the international capital of world cultures and civilizations. Khatami made the remarks while receiving Switzerland's new Ambassador to Tehran Philippe Welti. At the meeting, the Swiss diplomat submitted his credentials to President Khatami. Khatami stressed that the experience obtained from Davos summit held last year in Switzerland, can be used for expanding"

Iran's Non-Oil Export To Hit 2 Billion Dollars For First Four Months Of The Year

Iran's Non-Oil Export To Hit 2 Billion Dollars For First Four Months Of The Year: "Iran's Non-Oil Export To Hit 2 Billion Dollars For First Four Months Of The Year
Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA -- Iran's non-oil export reached some 1.995 billion dollars in the first four months of current Iranian calendar year (started March 20, 2004), said the Persian-language daily 'Iran` on Monday.
The figure on export showed a 9.1 percent increase compared to the corresponding period the previous year.

According to Iran's Customs Administration, the value of Iran`s non-oil goods, excluding the carry-on-luggage and border market trade amounted to 1.864 billion dollars over the same period, registering a 7.9 percent boost compared to the figures for the same period the previous year.

Iran earned 12 million dollars out of carry-on-luggage trade and 118.9 million dollars out of border market exchanges over the same period.

Each ton of the exported non-oil commodities earned the country 377 dollars on the average during the four months which showed a 7.8 percent hike compared to that of the previous year.

Iran's export in industry and petrochemical sectors constituted 79.8 percent in weight and 68.7 percent in value of the country's total exports.

Pistachio and pistachio kernel with 178.8 million dollars, iron and steel with 166.9 million dollars, other petrochemical products with 159.8 million dollars, hand-woven carpet with 125.7 million dollars and propane and butane with 114.4 million dollars are among top commodities exported in the period.

Other exported goods included industrial goods with 70.4 million dollars, aluminum goods with 58.1 million dollars, light naphtha with 46.3 million dollars, other chemical products with 37.5 million dollars and various types of tar with 37.2 million dollars.

Meanwhile, some 9.269 million tons of various non-oil goods, valued at some 10.309 million dollars, have been imported to the country over the said time.

The imported goods indicated a 12 percent decrease in terms of weight and a 23.8 percent increase in terms of value compared to the corresponding period last year.

Plastic raw materials and chemical materials, road-building and agricultural machinery, vegetable oil, leather and chemical products are among other commodities imported to the country. "

Turks.US - Problem with Iran can's be solved easily

Turks.US - Problem with Iran can's be solved easily: "Problem with Iran can's be solved easily

By Gunay Simsek

�Before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan�s visit to Iran I talked to officials doing preliminary work on Turkish-Iranian relations. My questions were about issues like the developments in reducing the price of Iranian natural gas and the management of the Imam Humeyni International Airport.

The answer was that Erdogan�s visit would determine these issues, but the problems remained there as he returned from Iran.

Erdogan�s statement that the natural gas from Turkmenistan would be exported through the Caspian Sea with a pipeline parallel to the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan main oil export pipeline, could have disappointed Tehran. Iran categorizes its relations and behaves accordingly. In other words we shouldn�t keep away from Iran just because the US or other countries would make a response, but we also shouldn�t forget that it�s Iran. The real problem is that former governments which signed agreements with Iran didn�t make the details clear. Tehran doesn�t reduce the prices and delays Turkish investment in the country.

I already wrote that Turkey should be more sensitive in its relations with Iran, that the relations should be further developed and that the problems couldn�t be solved on ministers� level. The result is clear and it should be seen as a beginning. Besides, we will also see how this visit will influence the balance in the region, the Kurdish-Jewish relations and US strategies in Iraq.� "