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Iran Headlines: Kerry Leaves Vienna, Oil Exports, and Chinese Investment

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at Geneva International airport.

NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS

ISNA reported that before leaving the Austrian capital of Vienna today, United States Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that the United States took the fatwa against nuclear weapons issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “very seriously,” and that “both sides have agreed on key issues, but significant gaps still remain.”

Khabar Online quoted Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani as saying, “In order to reach a final nuclear agreement, it would be helpful if the West drops its excessive demands for a more realistic approach towards the negotiations.”

According to Mehr News Agency, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told reporters, “Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful and we are ready and willing to resolve their concerns of the P5+1.” Zarif added, “We have reached a point in the drafting of the text where a solution is possible…the text of the nuclear agreement will be finalized in a few days.”

Fars News Agency reported that Hussein Fereydoon, the brother of President Hassan Rouhani has left Vienna to return to Tehran today. Fereydoon, a special adviser to President Rouhani, traveled to Vienna “to be informed on the latest developments in the nuclear negotiations and to prepare a detailed report for President Rouhani.”

Citing sources, Alef News wrote that Hussein Fereydoon, the brother of President Hassan Rouhani was in Vienna because “he was carrying a message that contained instructions on how to resolve (the remaining) issues in the nuclear talks.”

An editorial in hard line Javon Online wrote, “Iran’s negotiators need to maintain the stance that if the demands of the West continue to be excessive, it will be the West that will be blamed for failing to reach an agreement,” and that “if the negotiations fail, Iran should be ready to accelerate its nuclear program.”

POLITICS

Mehr News Agency reported that the spokesperson for Iran’s Judiciary announced that Iran’s oil ministry has agreed to accept property as a form of payment regarding the massive debt that billionaire sanctions buster Babak Zanjani owes the oil ministry.

According to Khabar Online, President Hassan Rouhani met with senior Iranian military officials and said, “The administration will do everything it can in order to strengthen its solidarity with Iran’s armed forces, and given the current circumstances, our armed forces, hand in hand with the administration, want to help solve the problems of the people.”

ECONOMY AND ENERGY

Entekhab News reported that Iran’s Statistical Center announced, “Iran’s population has reached 78 million.”

In an interview with ISNA, Head of Iran's Aviation Organization Alireza Jahangiri said, “Spare airplane parts (purchased under the Geneva interim agreement) have entered the country, and additional parts will be arriving soon; this trend will continue.”

According to Donya-e Eghtesad, Mohsen Ghamsari, the National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) director of international affairs has denied that Iran’s oil exports have decreased in the month of June, as was reported in a recent report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). “If anything, technical issues might have reduced output at a refinery but overall we have met our monthly average,” said Ghamsari. The article also claimed, “Iran's oil and natural gas exports seem be around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).”

According to Mehr News Agency, “Despite China’s Central Bank being thoroughly prepared, citing vague and unspecified reasons, Iran’s Central Bank has suspended an investment deal worth $66 billion dollars in which Chinese companies would finance projects inside Iran.”

PHOTOS

Hard line students protest in front of the United Nations sub-office in Mashaad in support of Hizballah and Palestinians in Gaza. 

President Hassan Rouhani meets with senior military commanders of Iran’s Armed Forces.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization participates in an environmental awareness ceremony.