Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oil Ministry emphasizes on foreign companies’ presence in Iran

"Oil Ministry emphasizes on foreign companies’ presence in Iran

TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) — Oil Ministry emphasizes on the foreign companies’ presence in Iran and their use of the Iranian experts, an official in the ministry said.

“At present, we have set a precondition for the foreign companies seeking to work in Iran that is to say, they are obliged to make use of the trained domestic manpower”, noted director of the Oil Exploration Bureau in the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mahmud Mohaddes.

He referred to the human resource as the main challenge in domesticating foreign technology and said that gaining access to some of the equipment and the hardware would be possible sooner or later but, the most important of all is the issue of the human resource that is supposed to work with the equipments and tools.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official put Iran’s oil production capacity at 134 billion barrels and the natural gas resources at 27 trillion cubic feet and stated that in the past seven years, for every barrel of oil produced, we have discovered 1.8 barrels of the commodity."

Iraqis can vote in Iran but SCIRI party complains

Iran Mania News: "Iraqis can vote in Iran but Shiite party complains

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - ©2004

LONDON, Jan 12 (IranMania) - About 120,000 Iraqis living in neighboring Iran can participate in landmark national elections this month, UN officials said Tuesday, but the main Iraqi Shiite party criticized restrictions imposed on voters.

According to Agence France Press (AFP), about 70 voting stations will be set up in six large cities including Tehran, poll organizer Kate Pryce told a press conference, with registration scheduled for January 17 to 23 and voting from January 28 to 30.

"Each voter must present two identifications, one of which must carry a photo," Pryce said.

The UN's International Organization for Migration is in charge of the polls for Iraqis living in 13 foreign countries, most of them in Iran.

However, Mohsen Hakim, a top member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) criticized the restrictions imposed on the Iraqi voters in Iran.

"Contrary to the other 12 countries, Iraqis in Iran have to present an Iraqi ID card while in other countries it is enough to show an ID that simply indicates the person was born in Iraq," Hakim told Iran's State News Agency (IRNA).

Hakim also criticized the lack of polling stations in the cities of Isphahan, Shiraz, Yazd and the western province of Ilam "where many Iraqis live".

"About 40,000 Iraqis live in Isphahan while no polls have been considered there." he added.

The head of SCIRI in Iraq, Abdol Aziz Hakim, tops the Shiite list in the January 30 elections.

Politically supported by Iran, SCIRI was created in early 1980s and based in Iran, where its leaders as well as numerous militants live.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said Sunday he was opposed to any postponement of Iraq polls, arguing that a delay could worsen the security situation there, IRNA added.

Khatami said he wanted to see "a government come to office and prepare the ground for the exit of occupation forces", as well as "cooperation between all regional and world countries to reconstruct Iraq.""

Iran's exports doubled under Khatami

Iran Mania News: "Iran's exports doubled under Khatami

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - ©2004

LONDON, Jan 12 (IranMania) - The Commerce Ministry announced Tuesday revenues from the export of goods and services has increased by 101% since 1997, when President Mohammad Khatami assumed office.

According to ISNA, the Ministry further said in a report that imports rose by 116% in the same period.

The report comes following accusations by some economic experts that the pro-reform government has not done enough to improve the national economy.

"To criticisms the government has failed to promote the export culture among its managers, it is worth mentioning that since 1998, a joint scheme with UNDP for sustainable growth in non-oil exports has been in force," it further read, stressing that some 8,000 experts and managers working for state organizations have been trained in the framework of this program.

The report indicated that the Commerce Ministry has also trained more than 32,000 private sector experts and industrialists on modern trading mechanisms in this period.The ministry has held 570 training workshops in 156 cities across the country to help promote the culture of export, the report added.

It, however, admitted that the country's share in global trade transactions remains meager.

The total value of Iran's exports increased from $20 bln in 1997 to $40 bln in 2003. In the same period, imports via official channels jumped from $18.2 bln to 39.4 bln."