Leader urges authorities to be transparent
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called on the country’s authorities to be transparent and not to keep people in the dark.
However, the Leader said, the authorities must keep secret the country’s military and security issues, IRNA reported.
He also criticized those who link every virtue to Western civilization, saying transparency in politics, which has come under the spotlight in recent years, is among the teachings of Islam and Imam Ali (AS).
In remarks on October 15, Ayatollah Khamenei bemoaned the fact that some people have gotten used to linking any advantage in the Islamic community to the West, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Decrying the short-sightedness of pro-West eulogists, Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of transparency in politics, which has attracted attention nowadays, originates from the teachings of the first Shia imam, Imam Ali.
The Leader then explained that although Imam Ali had emphasized the importance of transparency, he had prohibited disclosing military issues and the secrets of war.
There is no place for whistle-blowing or transparency when it comes to security and military issues, because the enemy would take advantage of such military information to deal a blow, the Leader underlined.
“Except in the military and security cases and issues relating to confrontation with the enemy, there must be transparency and the authorities must not hide any secret from the public,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
Zarif: Iran open for dialogue, but no sign of readiness from US
Iran is open to dialogue with the United States without preconditions, but such talks remain elusive so long as Washington fails to show Tehran respect, its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday.
“We do not have preconditions, but we can say that what is required for dialogue is mutual respect, not mutual confidence,” Zarif said in an interview with Kyodo News.
“Usually people (who) engage in negotiation do not necessarily have trust and confidence in each other, but it requires mutual respect,” he added.
Zarif said the administration of US President Donald Trump could smoothen the way for dialogue by adhering to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that it “illegally” pulled out of earlier this year, and by halting its unilateral sanctions imposed since then – both things that he argued Washington is legally obligated to do.
Under the deal struck with six major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
On May 8, Trump withdrew the United States from the accord, struck under his predecessor Barack Obama, and pledged “the highest level of economic sanction” against Iran.
After US withdrawal, Iran has opted to stay in deal, at least for now, and cooperate with Europe to salvage it.
Zarif said if a new administration in Washington can suddenly abandon the fruit of two-and-a-half years of intensive negotiations, it brings into question whether the US can be relied on to implement other international agreements reached with it.
“The United States has failed to respect its legal obligations, its treaty obligations,” he said. “Unfortunately, the way that the United States has acted...has created conditions that would basically undermine the utility of negotiation.”
On whether an Iranian withdrawal remains on the table as an option, Zarif said Tehran must determine for itself whether the economic and political benefits of staying in the deal exceed the costs.
“We will make (that) decision based on our own evaluation of (our) national security and interests,” he said. “We are not working against any deadline.”
Referring to efforts by Britain, France and Germany to salvage the deal through a mechanism to protect Iran’s economy and ensure its oil exports and banking transactions, the foreign minister said “serious measures” must be taken in that regard before Nov. 5.
That is the date set by the United States for implementation of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports.
Zarif said the three European countries that signed the deal have made commitments and proposals, but some technical details still need to be worked out, and unfortunately there has been “US massive illegal interference” in the process.
“For the time being, we are selling our oil (and) we are able to maintain our economy,” he said.
Zarif expressed confidence that Iran will be able to overcome sanctions imposed by the US and its allies, considering that “many countries have shown readiness to do business with Iran.”
Besides the three European countries, other countries that attach great importance to the nuclear deal, including Russia, China and Japan, “are ready to implement their part.”
Producers cannot cover loss of Iran crude
Zanganeh advises Trump to forgo Iran oil sanctions
Oil producers cannot make up for the shortfall in the global market when the US sanctions on Iranian oil exports come into force next month, the Saudi energy minister said Monday as Iran warned its crude cannot be replaced by other oil producing countries.
“If three million barrels per day disappears, we cannot cover this volume. So we have to use oil reserves,” Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency.
Falih said that with sanctions on Iran coming into full force in November, there was no guarantee oil prices would refrain from going higher.
“I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers,” Falih said, when asked whether the world can avoid oil hitting $100 per barrel again.
He said that if oil prices went up, it would slow the global economy and trigger a recession.
“We have sanctions on Iran, and nobody has a clue what Iranians’ exports will be. Secondly, there are potential declines in different countries like Libya, Nigeria, Mexico and Venezuela,” he said.
Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million. He added that Riyadh had capacity to increase output to 12 million bpd and its Persian Gulf OPEC ally, the United Arab Emirates, could add another 0.2 million bpd.
“We have relatively limited spare capacities and we are using a significant part of them,” he said.
Global supply next year could be helped by Brazil, Kazakhstan and the United States, he added.
“But if you have other countries to decline in addition to the full application of Iran sanctions, then we will be pulling all spare capacities,” Falih said.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Monday his country’s crude output cannot be replaced by other oil producers if Tehran is hit by sanctions, advising US President Donald Trump to forgo reimposing sanctions.
“As I have repeatedly said there is no replacement for Iranian oil in the market. Saudi Arabia and Russia’s output is near their highest level ever and they have no spare capacity to pump more to replace Iran’s oil,” Zanganeh told Shana.
In May, Trump pulled out of the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and announced sanctions against OPEC’s third-largest producer Iran. Washington is pushing allies to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero and will reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil and financial sectors in November.
It is also encouraging other oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, other OPEC members and Russia, to pump more to meet any shortfall.
But Iran has repeatedly said that its oil exports cannot be reduced to zero because of high demand levels in the market. Under sanctions, Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds, straining oil markets.
“The market’s knowledge of this inability has raised the prices as the average price (of crude) ... Rising oil prices have slowed down the economic growth of most of the consumer countries, which is affecting the global economy,” Zanganeh said.
He advised Trump “to forgo imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil exports”, saying that the non-OPEC producers of oil were also unable “to offset disruptions in the market”.
Iran has warned that if it cannot sell its oil due to US pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either.
Under the 2015 nuclear deal, most international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in 2016 in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.
Reuters contributed to this story.
UN agency registers ‘Persian Gulf’ in official certificate
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is a United Nations agency, officially registered the “Persian Gulf Pearl” as a property of the Islamic Republic, implying that the geographical name “the Persian Gulf” itself has been recognized by the agency, a senior Iranian official said Monday.
Seyyed Mehdi Mir-Salehi, a director at Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade, said at a press briefing that the pearl had been registered by the WIPO under the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, to which Iran has been a signatory since 2006, Press TV reported.
The official noted that the acknowledgement of that name in the Registration Certificate for the Persian Gulf Pearl indicated the recognition of the name of the body of water as such.
“Hereafter, and based on international law, no country, government, or organization can use another name to refer to the Persian Gulf,” he said.
The littoral Arab countries of the Persian Gulf have long sought to hijack the body of water by unilaterally calling it “the Arabian Gulf.”
During a speech in October 2017, United States President Donald Trump — known for his long-running affiliation with Arab countries in the Persian Gulf — used the fictitious name “the Arabian Gulf” to refer to the Persian Gulf.
Certain other countries simply use the phrase “the Gulf” to refer to the waterway.
This is while the Persian Gulf has historically been named that way, and there are countless historical documents referring to the body of water as such.
Iran has designated April 30 as National Persian Gulf Day to highlight the fact that the waterway has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as Persian since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern-day Iran.
Europeans want Iran bank connected to world: French senator
European countries are seeking to ensure at least one Iranian bank stays connected to the world after the US reimposed sanctions against the country, a French senator said in Tehran.
The United States pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May and has been reimposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic, targeting in particular its financial system.
The European efforts to help Iranians benefit from the nuclear deal despite the US sanctions is “difficult but it’s possible,” said French Senator Philippe Bonnecarrere, AFP reported on Monday.
One way was “to have at least one Iranian bank remain connected to the international banking system through SWIFT, to keep up commercial relations on goods or services that are not subject to sanctions,” he added. Bonnecarrere, who heads the France-Iran Friendship Group in the upper house of Parliament, made the remarks during a news conference with French and Iranian counterparts. The nuclear deal was agreed between Iran and the 5+1 group – UN Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.
Bonnecarrere was in Iran with six other members of the French Parliament.
The visit was a sign of “all the determination and all the will of France to keep alive the nuclear agreement,” said lawmaker, Delphine O.
In late September, the European Union, which coordinated the talks leading to the agreement, said an initiative by the bloc to facilitate payment to and from Iran as part of efforts to save the nuclear deal could be in place before November.
EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said, “The Special Purpose Vehicle [SPV]” was aimed at keeping trade with Tehran in the face of the bans.
Turkey: Khashoggi killing ‘monstrously planned’, truth will emerge
Turkey’s ruling party said on Monday Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a “monstrously planned” murder, dismissing Riyadh’s assertion he died in a fight, as Western incredulity deepened over varying Saudi accounts of the journalist’s disappearance.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, disappeared three weeks ago after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for an upcoming marriage, Reuters wrote.
Riyadh’s reaction since – it initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he was killed in a fight in the consulate – has left Western governments deeply skeptical and strained ties with the world’s largest oil exporter.
Ruling AK Party spokesman Omer Celik said efforts had been made to cover up the killing, referring to surveillance footage aired by CNN showing a man dressed as Khashoggi walking around Istanbul after he vanished in an apparent attempt at deception.
“We are facing a situation that has been monstrously planned and later tried to be covered up. It is a complicated murder,” he told reporters.
“We are being careful so nobody tries to cover the issue up. The truth will come out. Those responsible will be punished, something like this will not cross anybody’s mind anymore.”
Khashoggi went missing on Oct. 2 when he entered the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. After weeks of denying knowledge of his fate, Saudi officials said the prominent journalist was killed in a “fistfight”.
On Sunday Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said that Khashoggi had died in a rogue operation. But some of his comments appeared to contradict previous statements from Riyadh, marking yet another shift in the official story.
He called Khashoggi’s killing a “huge and grave mistake,” but sought to shield its powerful crown prince from the widening crisis, saying Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware.
“ This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had,” Jubeir said on the US broadcaster Fox.
“They made the mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it,” he said.
Several countries, including Germany, Britain, France and Turkey, have pressed Riyadh to provide all the facts, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin would not export arms to Saudi Arabia while uncertainty over Khashoggi’s fate persisted.
Saudi car found
“One cannot help but wonder how there could have been a ‘fistfight’ between 15 young expert fighters ... and a 60-year-old Khashoggi, alone and defenseless,” Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and a friend of Khashoggi’s, wrote in the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper.
“The more one thinks about it, the more it feels like our intelligence is being mocked,” he wrote.
Erdogan has said he will release information about Turkey’s investigation in a speech on Tuesday.
Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate by Saudi agents and his body cut up. Turkish sources say authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the murder of the 59-year-old.
A car belonging to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was found in the Sultangazi district of the city, broadcaster NTV and other local media said on Monday, adding that police would search the vehicle.
For Saudi Arabia’s allies, the question will be whether they believe that the Saudi crown prince has any culpability.
In some critical areas, Jubeir’s explanation appeared to depart from previous official statements.
He said the Saudis did not know how Khashoggi had died. That contradicted the public prosecutor’s statement a day earlier that Khashoggi died after a fistfight with people who met him inside the consulate. It also contradicted two Saudi officials’ comments to Reuters that it was a chokehold that killed him.
A member of the team dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate, a Saudi official has said. Support for that strand of the account appeared to come from footage aired by CNN showing a man dressed as Khashoggi walking around Istanbul. CNN described the images as law enforcement surveillance footage.
Some top US lawmakers turned their ire on the crown prince and said they believed he ordered the killing. “Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it,” Republican Senator Bob Corker, the influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview with CNN.
Over the course of the crisis, Trump’s comments have varied from appearing to downplay Riyadh’s role in the incident, to warning of potential economic sanctions. He has repeatedly highlighted the kingdom’s importance as an ally.