Iran News

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Iran is ready to open a Convention Secretariat to protect the Caspian Sea (Tehran convention), RIA Novosti reports, citing ISNA and the vice-president of the organization for ecological protection, Madjid Shafiipura. The Caspian Sea Protection Convention was signed on 4 November 2003 in Tehran by five Caspian states – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Representatives from each country are to gather for scheduled or unscheduled sessions.

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Western countries will apologize to Iran and will request an improvement of ties, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a meeting with families of victims of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), Trend reports, citing Press TV. Last week Ahmadinejad made his first official visit to Lebanon, where he met officials and made a speech to the Lebanese people. Israel and the USA expressed concern at the visit, calling it a political provocation.

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Tehran plans to lift the visa regime for citizens of neighbouring countries, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuchehr Mottaki said, Trend reports, citing IRNA.He said that it will allow Iran to activate cooperation and improve ties with its neighbours. Mottaki added that Iran had cancelled the visa regime for Azerbaijani citizens and expects Baku to do the same. Iran and Georgia plan to cancel the need for visas as well. Iran will have visa-free travel arrangements with 43 countries.

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The Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy, Natik Aliyev, will visit Riyadh on October 18-20 to participate at the International Energy Forum, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of OPEC. Aliyev will make the visit after an invitation from the Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, Ali Al-Naimi, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Industry and Energy says, Trend reports.

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The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is going to visit Iran, Trend cites ILNA news agency.The visit of Hugo Chavez starts on October 18th. In the framework of his official visit the President of Venezuela will meet the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other officials.

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The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has announced that Iran is ready to restart talks on its nuclear program with the international community, Associated Press reports.The talks were stopped last year. Iran previously declared it would restart the talks only if the Western countries adhere to the terms of the Iran-Turkey-Brazil treaty. Now President Ahmadinejad has confirmed that the country is ready to support the western initiative and restart the talks.

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The Iraqi Government has not yet been formed. The incumbent prime minister of the country, Nouri al-Maliki, is set to visit Turkey in order to enlist its support, CNN TURK reports.In the framework of his regional tour, al-Maliki will first visit Jordan, where he will meet King Abdullah. Al-Maliki will then visit Iran to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ali Khomeini.After that the Iraqi premier will visit Turkey and Egypt.

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Turkish officials insist that the NATO missile defense system should not target any country, including Iran and Syria, Xinhua reports. Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said that Turkey does not intend to target any country.

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The leading Japanese oil company INPEX has officially renounced developing one of the world's largest Azadegan oil reserves in southwestern Iran, ITAR-TASS reports.In the past, companies such as Italy's ENI, Norway's Statoil, Anglo-Dutch Shell and France's Total have declined participation in Iranian projects, due to the international sanctions recently taken against Iran because of the conflict over its nuclear program.

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The two-day visit by a delegation of the Ministry of Energy of Iran to Armenia has concluded with the signing of three memorandums. They were laid today by the energy ministers of the two countries Armen Movsisyan and Majid Manju, News.am reports.The first two memorandums concern the two countries' cooperation in energy, environmental protection in border areas, as well as clearing the water border river Arax. The third memorandum deals with the construction of the Megriyskaya hydroelectric station.

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In September 2010 gasoline imports in Iran decreased by 90 % and amounted to 163,000 tons, while in August, Iran imported 1.640 million tons of gasoline, Trend reports referring to the news agency Fars.The Iranian government has repeatedly voiced its intentions to stop the import of gasoline by implementing projects to increase its production at petrochemical complexes in the country.

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An Iranian Economic and Trade Exhibition has opened in Astrakhan. More than 40 companies from the northern Iranian provinces will demonstrate its products there, Iran News reports.This exhibition aims at strengthening trade ties and expanding trade and economic relations between Iran and Astrakhan, which is a gate to supplying the vast Russian market with Iranian goods.

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Two days ago, the Iraqi authorities published new data on oil reserves in the country, according to which Iraq was in third place among the states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), bypassing Iran, and still lagging behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, Iran News reports referring to NEWSru.

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The Iranian company Khodro Azerbaijan will start manufacturing Peugeot 206 cars in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province in February 2011, the Iranian Minister of Industry Akbar Mekhrabian said, Trend reports, citing Fars. Production will be launched ahead of schedule. 15 hectares of land have been provided for the factory, with another 35 hectares under development.

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The summit of the leaders of Lebanon, Iran, Syria and Turkey in Beirut has been cancelled, Trend reports, citing the Al-Jazeera TV channel.The reasons for the cancellation were not announced.Ahmdainejad met Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. The Israeli press reported that Nasrallah emerged from his bunker to present Ahmadinejad with an Israeli pistol acquired in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict in 2006.

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has met the General Secretary of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, before returning to Tehran, Trend reports, citing Press TV.The meeting was held in the Iranian embassy in Beirut, where the results of Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon were discussed. Nasrallah presented the Iranian president with a pistol “confiscated” by Hezbollah from an Israeli serviceman.

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The EU representative on international affairs and security policy Catrin Ashton has proposed organizing negotiations between the "six" and Iran in Vienna, RIA Novosti reports, citing the agency FrancePress.She hopes to hear a positive reply from Iran.The Foreign Minister of Iran  bit earlier stated that Tehran is ready to start negotiating on its nuclear programme in close future.

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