Monday, March 07, 2005

Iran News - "WTO accession not a pressing need for Iran"

Iran News - "WTO accession not a pressing need for Iran": ""WTO accession not a pressing need for Iran"

Monday, March 07, 2005 - ©2005

LONDON, March 7 (IranMania) - Iran's Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said on Sunday that there is no pressing need to start talks on accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), stressing that it is not in the best interest of Iran to join the organization at this juncture.

The official told ILNA that Iran’s WTO accession negotiations would depend much on the incentives the United States and European Union would offer to the Islamic Republic, stressing that the big powers are the main hurdles in the way of the country’s WTO entry. “When Iran applies for WTO entry, it does not mean that it is ready to join immediately,“ he said, adding that WTO talks could take several years before a concrete result is obtained.

The official further noted that consecutive rejections of Iran’s WTO applications are politically-motivated and that the US and EU must not demand anything from Iran in return for not vetoing its WTO application.

“We are not going to give anything in return for this,“ he said, adding that as the official in charge of following up issues related to Iran’s WTO entry, he would not believe in such kinds of exchanges.

World Trade Organization (WTO) rejected for the 22nd time Iran’s bid to start accession talks in the face of mounting pressure from the United States and growing laxity of the European Union.

The US vetoed Iran’s application as the European countries, which had pledged to back Iran’s bid, sat idle.

The rejection of Iran’s WTO application came amid the decision to start accession negotiations with some countries, which are much weaker than Iran in terms of economic growth and stability.

The US has backed applications by Iraq and Afghanistan as 11 Arab states have so far managed to join the organization. Iran has failed in its efforts to enter WTO since 1995."

Iran News - Lack of funds hurts Iran olive industry

Iran News - Lack of funds hurts Iran olive industry: "Lack of funds hurts Iran olive industry

Monday, March 07, 2005 - ©2005
LONDON, March 7 (IranMania) - Some 15,000 hectares across Iran would be added to the total area undergo olive cultivation in the year to March 2006, said the official in charge of implementing Olive Plantation and Development Program, adding that the industry is facing a severe shortage of funds.

Mehdi Maschi told ILNA that the program would need rls 50 bln (nearly $5.6 mln) in funds, stressing that the government has allocated only rls 22 bln (nearly $2.5mln) for Olive Plantation and Development Program which is underway in 25 provinces.

“Chronic shortage of funds has reduced development, processing and rehabilitation projects (in olive production sector),“ he said, adding that the program could help cut import of olive oil, which he said has topped 90%.

The official expressed hope that a major portion of the national demand for olive oil would be met domestically within the next 10 years, stressing, however, this will be possible only if sufficient funds are allocated.

Olive is produced in almost all Iranian provinces given the suitable climatic conditions.

The government has banned the import of olive because of apprehensions about the incidence of certain diseases in the country.

Several contracts have been reached with 12 engineering firms as part of olive development program. The programme is expected to help increase national olive production by 75% in the next few years.

This programme commenced in 1993 as a joint venture with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, with the aim of converting marginal croplands to olive orchards and reviving some of the degraded forests."