While speaking to directors of Iran’s Free Trade Zones on Kish Island, President Hassan Rouhani declared, “I will work with any group or faction that serves the public’s interests, and I will stand up against those who choose partisan interests over national interests.”
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber of Kuwait on day two of his two day tour visit to the UAE and Kuwait. Abdollahian extended a formal invitation to Kuwait’s ruler on behalf of President Rouhani for the Kuwaiti Emir to visit Terhan. The Emir of Kuwait stated that “Iran and its relationship with its Persian Gulf neighbors are moving in the right direction,” and also emphasized the need for a political solution in Syria and that Kuwait did not approve of a military solution or further securitization of the crisis in Syria.
On the anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tasnim News posts a short video clip titled “The Day Islam Became Alive,” that briefly discusses the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran and the process that led to the date April 1, 1979, when Iranians voted in national referendum and voted to establish the world’s first Islamic Republic.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for American and European Affairs, Majid Takht Ravanchi, who is also one of Iran’s lead nuclear negotiators said western countries need to live up to their end of the bargain and “to avoid making statements that will damage the process of nuclear negotiations and (previous) agreements.”
Bloomberg News reports that while meeting with Israeli military officials in Jerusalem, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey stated that the once differing views of the United States and Israel, in regards to how soon Iran will gain nuclear-weapon capability are now closer than before. “Initially, the two clocks just weren’t spinning at the same rate…Our clocks are more harmonized than they were two years ago,” emphasized Dempsey.
ECONOMY & ENERGY
The Supreme Leader's representative and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani said that “the Rouhani government is determined to implement an economy of resistance,” (as outlined during the Supreme Leader’s Nowruz speech).
Reuters News reports that a U.S. grand jury in New York City has issued a subpoena to Clearstream Banking SA, a banking division of Deutsche Borse, in order to seek and investigate any documents related to any property held or any services rendered by Clearstream for the benefit of Iran or its central bank, Bank Markazi. According to a court filing, the case stems from the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.
Iran's Deputy Oil Minister, Abbas Kazemi warned, “If the current severe energy trend isn’t controlled, we will exceed the country’s energy supply by the year 2026 and there won’t be any possibilities of exporting (energy supplies).” Kazemi cited old technology being used in the distribution of petroleum products and oil refining, inefficient usage of energy consumption, and a lack of informational awareness among energy consumers as key reasons for this unsustainable trend of domestic energy consumption.
The Guardian reports that Iranian tour operators in Iran have seen a significant rise in travel bookings for holidays to Iran, as improved relations with the west boosts tourist interest.
Khabar Online examines why “South Korea has returned to Iran’s markets,” and predicts “an increase of in the volume of trade between the two countries.”
In April of 1977, Iran and the United States signed an agreement in which the United States would exchange nuclear technology with Iran. IRNA posts vintage photographs of the day the agreement was signed by both sides.
Nowruz tourists in the Persian Gulf port city of Bandar Konarak.
During his visit to Kish Island (Free Trade Zone), President Rouhani visits a local hospital.