Iran News

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 Press TV has published an article about Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini’s call for European countries to avoid encouraging Islamophobia.The resource cites him: “We expect European countries to guarantee the individual and social freedoms of Muslims,” adding that the minister has also called on Europe to adopt “dialogue among religions” as the basis for cooperation, instead of “flaming conflicts and spreading Islamophobia.”

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Iran will increase uranium enrichment rate to 20% to build four or five more nuclear reactors, Reuters cites the head of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization Fereydoon Abbasi as saying. Abbasi said that they are research reactors for the production of medical isotopes.

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Iran is opening the first gas storage facility in the country and throughout the Middle East called “Saradjev” in the province of Qum, Iran News reports.The gas storage will be aimed at controlling fluctuations in the production of gas and compensating for a lack of blue fuel in the cold season.After completion of the facility, the gas produced in the south will be pumped into the storage in the summer months and will be delivered to customers across Iran via pipelines in the cold seasons with the fall of the pressure.

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Ahmed Sadeki, Director General of the company for construction and development of transport infrastructure, said that the Erak-Melayer and Merage-Miandoab railway lines with a total length of 136 km are ready for opening, ISNA reports.The Erak-Melayer has a length of 90 km, Merage-Miandoab – 46 km.Sadeki said that Erak-Melayer will connect Iran and Iraq using the Khosravi terminal. It will provide railway connection for transit freighting between Central Asia and the Mediterranean.

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 In an article headlined 'Iran's Ahmadinejad demotes top advisor' the Los Angeles Times reports that the President replaced Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as chief of staff on Saturday, April 9. The newspaper notes that Mashaei was mistrusted for his unorthodox views about religion, including the role of the clergy and the pre-eminence of ancient Iranian cultural values over Islam by the hard-liners. However, this opinion didn’t win him any substantial support among a seething opposition movement opposed to the president and his agenda.

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Javad Ouji, Iranian Deputy Petrol Minister and Director of the Iranian National Gas Company, said that Iran may increase gas supplies to Armenia six-fold, News.am reports.Iranian gas exports reached a record of 8.5 billion cubic meters last year, increasing by 26%, MEHR reports. Iran signed a contract to export over 20 million cubic meters to Pakistan until 2014.Baghdad will hold a new round of trilateral talks between Iran, Iraq and Syria.

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Staff of the Iranian Imam Khomeini petrochemical plant in Mashkher have held protests, Pana News reports.Over 1,500 temporary employees demanded better working conditions and new contracts.The director of the plant, Mohammedkhusein Zarif, met the protesters and promised to fulfil their demands. The government of Iran decided in autumn 2010 to improve the working conditions of temporary state employees and sign permanent contracts with them.

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The Islamic Republic of Iran has expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats in response to the Kuwaiti authorities' decision to expel three Iranian diplomats, Iranian news agency Press TV reports. On April 2, Kuwait expelled three Iranian diplomats of the Iranian Embassy in Kuwait City, alleging that they had links to a spy network. Kuwaiti officials claimed that a number of the Iranian Embassy's officers have been gathering information about US military bases in Kuwait and passing it on to Iran.

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the head of the presidential administration, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Azerbaijani news agency Trend cites the official website of the President of the Islamic Republic. As head of the presidential administration Rahim Mashaei was criticized by conservatives and religious leaders for some of his statements and actions. In particular, Mashaei has always said that Tehran should maintain friendly relations with all countries, including Israel.

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Iran chose April 9 as the National Day of Nuclear Technology in September 2006. In such a day Iranian scientists managed to complete nuclear fuel cycle and include Iran in the list of few countries with complete nuclear fuel chain, ISNA reports.

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World Press on Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus (April 8, 2011)

The Washington Post published an article by David Ignatius headlined “Egyptian democracy’s growing pains”, in which the journalist muses on the future of the Egyptian revolution. According to Ignatius, the future of the whole Middle East …

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the budget of the past year (1389 according to the Iranian calendar) was the largest in the history of the country. "This year was one of the best and most successful years for the economy and people," the president said, SalamNews reports, citing IRNA.The Iranian president urged the population to unite and make all efforts for economic development and to enhance the capacity of the country.

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Over 300 people were injured in an attack of Iraqi military against the People“s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) at Ashraf camp, north-east of Iraq. 31 people died, RIA Novosti cites a spokesman of the organization Shakhin Gobadi as saying.The camp was attacked by 1,500 Iraqi troops, supported by armored vehicles.Gobadi expressed confidence that the attack was ordered by the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei.

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Iran starts loading fuel at Bushehr nuclear power plant

Specialists have started loading fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant in south Iran. The process will be followed by assemblage of the reactor, testing of equipment and launch of the reactor at minimal productivity rate.

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Explosions at three pipelines have occurred near the Iranian city of Gum, 74 km from Gum-Delijan trunk, Trend cites the Iranian Petrol Ministry. There has been no information on the motives for the blast and injuries. Three explosions happened near Gum, 20 km away from the road to Arak, in February. No one was injured then.

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Khosein Abedi, director of the department of agriculture Jihad of the administration of Astara (Gilan Province), said in an interview with IRNA that 191,642 tons of agriculture were exported to Russia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine through Astara on 03.21.10-03.20.11, Iran.ru reports. This includes export of grape, eggplants, onions, potatoes, dates, cucumbers, soya, greens, pepper, kiwi, tomatoes and carrots.

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ISESCO and TURKSOY have signed a cooperation protocol in Baku, Trend reports. The document was signed by the ISESCO Secretary General Abdulaziz bin Othman al-Tuwaijri and TURKSOY Secretary General Duisen Kaseinov. Tuwaijri said that the protocol will improve the efficiency of realizing ISESCO projects. Cooperation with TURKSOY will give way to a better promotion of Islamic values.

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Iran will launch sea transport for passengers between the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Gulistan, located on the Caspian coast, the director of Gadir, Khusein Gitipasand, said, Trend reports. The initiative will require the construction of 20 bridges between the three provinces. Opening the service will give work to 17,000 people and reduce road traffic.

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