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Iran Headlines: Zarif in Russia, Rouhani Cultural Policy, and Oil Exports

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands in Moscow, Russia.

RUSSIA

Mehr News Agency reported that during a press conference in Moscow, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif praised his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for Russia’s “positive role in the ongoing nuclear negotiations,” and emphasized that “Iran and Russia are in a new era of bilateral relations which requires both countries to engage in constant dialogue.” Mehr News also posted a set of photos of their meeting.

In an interview with Fars News Agency, Chairman of the Iran-Russia-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Asadollah Asgar-Oladi stated that certain economic obstacles between Iran and Russia need to be resolved such as, “Issues that deal with transportation and banking transactions,” as well as “expediting visas for Russian businessmen.”

POLITICS

A hard-line editorial in Javan Online asks, “why is the sedition a red line?” The writer makes a number of assertions including, “The seditionists are not the same thing as reformists.”  

A report in Nuclear Iran argues whether or not Iran should consider Azerbaijan “a hostile country,” as a result of an alleged Israeli drone that was shot down by Iranian defense forces near Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility earlier this week.

NUCLEAR

According to Fars News Agency, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi spoke before Friday prayers in Tehran today and said, “Some countries in the Middle East have said that Iran doesn’t need nuclear energy with all of its oil and natural gas resources, but coincidently those same countries now are pursuing nuclear energy themselves.”

ENERGY

In an interview with ISNA, Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh revealed that Iran’s National Petrochemical Company “cannot currently invest in infrastructure because it doesn’t have the funds to do so.”

Mehr News Agency reported that both China and India increased their imports of Iranian oil last month when compared to the same period last year. China's imports of Iranian oil increased over 200,000 bpd to almost 559,000 bpd in the month of July (2014), while India's imports in July increased six-fold to over 210,000 bpd. Japan's oil imports from Iran in July compared to the same month last year, dropped about 25 percent to about 130,000 bpd, and South Korea's oil imports from fell 32 percent to a little below 130,000 bpd.

According to ISNA, the director of Iranian Railways, Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei stated that a railway that will eventually connect Iran to Europe “is still a priority” even though it’s been in the works for ten years and “is still in its infrastructure stage.” The railway will first connect the capital Tehran to Tabriz. According to Aghaei, “More than 14 million trips are made annually to Tabriz from Tehran, and 94 percent of those trips are made by automobile or bus, four percent by airplane, and only two percent via rail system.”

SOCIETY

Mehr News Agency reported that the culture minister under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohammad Hosseini, criticized President Hassan Rouhani’s cultural policies by saying, “The current administration needs to seriously support revolutionary forces in order to create the cultural atmosphere that the Supreme Leader has put forth.”

PHOTOS

Government, military, and religious officials attend the funeral ceremony of Akbar Torkan’s father. Torkan has held a number of ministerial positions in the past and currently is a senior adviser to President Hassan Rouhani.

Iranians compete in a water-rocket launch competition in Hamadan.

Children purchase school supplies before the start of the school year.