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Iran Headlines: Velayati on Nuclear Extension, Tehran Stock Exchange, and Exports to Europe

Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran's Supreme Leader's top advisor in international affairs, at a news conference in Damascus, Syria.

NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS

In an extensive interview with Mehr News Agency, Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to the Supreme Leader discussed details regarding the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Velayati claimed that there is “obvious discord among the P5+1 ministers,” and that “Iran will not budge in regards to continuing its research with the goal of having 190,000 separative work units (SWUs), uranium enrichment, usage of the Fordo facility, and utilizing the Arak heavy water reactor.”

Economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported that as a result of the extension in the nuclear talks, there was “a slight fluctuation in Iran’s currency exchange but prices remained relatively stable.” According to traders, “Tehran’s Stock Exchange welcomed the renewal of nuclear negotiations.”

The Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) quoted Mohammad Hassan Asghari, member of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission as saying, “If (the West) accepts our right to enrich uranium, this will be the key in unlocking a comprehensive (nuclear deal).” ICANA also reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif will attend a closed-door session of Parliament tomorrow (July 21, 2014) in order to brief MPs on the status of the nuclear talks.

Hard line Raja News reported on a conference held in Shiraz entitled, “Iran’s Red Lines,” in which Naser Nobari, Iranˈs former ambassador to the former Soviet Union said, “Prolonged nuclear negotiations puts us at an disadvantage.” Nobari also expressed that he is “concerned with the negotiation’s current deadlock.”

ECONOMY

According to ISNA, Valiollah Afkhami-Rad, the head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI) claimed there was a “marathon of European countries that want to trade with Iran.” Afkhami-Rad added, “Effective foreign policy actions have created suitable conditions for an ‘open door policy’ in the commercial sector. This change is visible as veteran politicians from Britain, France, Italy and Spain are all seeking to improve relations with Tehran.”

Mehr News Agency published a chart released by the Statistical Center of Iran on the latest female unemployment statistics. The chart revealed that the age group with the highest unemployment rate in the entire country is females aged 20-24, who currently have a 26.4 percent unemployment rate.

IRNA quoted Mir Abutaleb Badri, the deputy head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPOI) as saying, “From April to May (2014), Iran’s exports to Europe grew by 20 percent.”

ISNA reported that Iran’s Customs Administration announced that in the first quarter of the Iranian calendar year, more than 20 thousand tons of pistachios were exported to 47 different countries valued at over $ 168.5 million dollars. “This is 94 percent increase compared to the same period last year,” according to Iranian customs.

SOCIETY

Kherad Online quoted a senior official at the Population Census Organization of Iran’s Statistical Center as saying, “Despite the fact that Iran’s population is aging and that 33.3 percent of the country's population still prefers only one child to or none at all, Iran’s fertility rate (in the first quarter of the Iranian calendar) slightly rose from 4.8 percent to five percent.”

MYANMAR

According to IRNA, Ang Jin Soo, Myanmar’s new ambassador to Tehran presented his credentials today to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.  Iran’s foreign minister expressed that the “Iranian government was concerned about the treatment of Myanmar’s Muslims,” and that, “Iran is ready to help solve the problems that Myanmar’s Muslims face.”

PHOTOS

An Iranian man and woman go hiking and rappel off of the Amol Mountains in Mazandaran Province.

Bazaar merchants in the city of Tabriz take a mid-day break.

A funeral ceremony was held for a number of “nameless soldiers” of the Iran-Iraq war.