Official: Iranian customs facilitating services for NTBFs
The customs office at the southern port of Shahid Rajaei is providing domestic new technology-based firms (NTBFs) with special services to facilitate their foreign trade.
Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Affairs Sorena Sattari announced the above during a visit of the customs office of Shahid Rajaei port in the southern province of Hormuzgan, reported Tasnim News Agency.
Sattari said more than half of the companies affiliated with the Department of Science and Technology Affairs are working with the customs office and enjoy special services.
He also voiced his department’s readiness to cooperate with the customs office in the technological sector for the settlement of problems.
During the visit, Managing Director of Shahid Rajaei customs office Abolfazl Akbarpour, said his office had been providing special services for Iranian companies.
The customs office of Shahid Rajaei is working with more than 170 domestic technology-based businesses, facilitating their trade and processes, he added.
In March, after opening a specialized pharmaceutical plant in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani assured the private sector of his administration’s support for technology-based projects and research activities contributing to the national production.
“The administration will
seriously support the whole private sector in the field of production, particularly those performing activities based on technology and research,” Rouhani said on March 21.
Iran rejects WSJ report on request for US consular services
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman vehemently rejected a report claiming that Tehran has recently called for the creation of a US consular office in the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.
The remarks were made by Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, in which he dismissed as untrue the report published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Monday, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“A US official said Iran had recently asked for the creation of a consular service [section] through the Swiss, who represent US interests in Tehran,” the report said on Sunday.
“Iran, this US official said, hopes the consular service can be used to facilitate negotiations over prisoner swaps,” it added.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Tehran and the P5+1.
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.
Hamas says downs drone as Israel threatens new war
Hamas said it shot down an Israeli drone over the Gaza Strip where tensions have heightened amid an Israeli threat to launch a ground war on the besieged enclave.
A source in Hamas said the Palestinian resistance movement brought down the quadcopter in northern Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, Press TV reported.
Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post, however, cited some reports as saying that the drone had flown out of the area after being shot at.
Hamas has confiscated Israeli drones several times, either after they crashed due to technical problems or in the wake of shooting them down.
The targeting of the drone comes amid heightened tensions in Gaza where Israeli aircraft launched airstrikes on Khan Yunis and other areas in the besieged strip on Friday, killing a 27-year-old civilian and wounding two others.
The Israeli military claimed that the Friday air raids were launched in response to the firing of 10 rockets into the occupied territories from Gaza.
Following the air raids, a high-ranking official from Hamas warned Israel against escalating tensions, saying Tel Aviv would face the consequences.
The Israeli military frequently bombs Gaza, with civilians being the main target of such attacks.
Israel has launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal enclave, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were wounded.
Israel: War on Gaza likely
Amid the escalating tensions along the fence separating the occupied territories from Gaza, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz threatened on Sunday that Tel Aviv might have to launch a military operation in the coastal enclave.
“We hoped to reach an agreement before a large military operation, and as it seems right now, we may have to set out on a big army operation and only then reach an agreement,” Steinitz said in an interview with Army Radio.
“If there is no choice and we want to destroy the Hamas regime, it will have to be a ground operation, and this comes at a price,” he added.
Hamas ready to face enemy
Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar said Sunday that Palestinian resistance groups were ready to confront any aggression as he dismissed a prisoner swap with Israel.
“They cannot take decisive and crucial decisions at this point and we are ready to face the enemy,” he said.
Israel’s so-called security cabinet convened for a lengthy-meeting on Sunday for the third time in a week, which is very unusual for an interim regime.
Rafi Peretz, the leader of the Jewish Home political party and a cabinet member, said he
“experienced on Saturday the rocket alerts and the firebombs, and again we couldn’t sit down for a Saturday dinner.”
“This can’t go on. The heads of Hamas will be made to pay a price for this,” he said.
Fellow party member Bezalel Smotrich, however, called for caution.
“It’s easy to speak harshly, it’s easy to say ‘let’s go out on an attack.’ It’s important to understand that the space we are operating in is very complicated, and we need to act responsibly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held Hamas responsible for any attack emanating from Gaza.
“I don’t intend to detail our plans here. We will continue to operate in all the arenas for the safety of …Israel, in overt and covert measures – through the sea, in the air and on the ground,” he tweeted.
The situation in the Gaza Strip, under an Israeli siege since June 2007, is unsustainable. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Palestinians in Gaza have been holding weekly rallies as part of the Great March of Return since March 30, 2018, calling for an end to the crippling 11-year Israeli blockade.
Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon
Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in the oceans, but we are only just beginning to understand their full potential.
Our ability to predict future climate relies upon being able to monitor where our carbon emissions go. So we need to know how much stays in the atmosphere, or becomes stored in the oceans or on land. The oceans in particular have helped to slow climate change as they absorb and then store the carbon for thousands of years, eurekalert.org wrote.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, published in September, identified this critical role that the ocean play in regulating our climate along with the need to increase our monitoring and understanding of ocean health.
But the vast nature of the oceans, covering over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, illustrates why satellites are an important component of any monitoring.
The new study, led by the University of Exeter, said that increased exploitation of existing satellites will enable us to fill “critical knowledge gaps” for monitoring our climate.
The work reports that satellites originally launched to study the wind, also have the capability to observe how rain, wind, waves, foam and temperature all combine to control the movement of heat and carbon dioxide between the ocean and the atmosphere.
Additionally, satellites launched to monitor gas emissions over the land are also able to measure carbon dioxide emissions as they disperse over the ocean.
Future satellite missions offer even greater potential for new knowledge, including the ability to study the internal circulation of the oceans. New constellations of commercial satellites, designed to monitor the weather and life on land, are also capable of helping to monitor ocean health.
“Monitoring carbon uptake by the oceans is now critical to understand our climate and for ensuring the future health of the animals that live there,” said lead author Dr. Jamie Shutler, of the Center for Geography and Environmental Science on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.
“By monitoring the oceans we can gather the necessary information to help protect ecosystems at risk and motivate societal shifts towards cutting carbon emissions.”
The research team included multiple European research institutes and universities, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the European Space Agency.
The researchers call for a “robust network” that can routinely observe the oceans.
This network would need to combine data from many different satellites with information from automated instruments on ships, autonomous vehicles and floats that can routinely measure surface water carbon dioxide.
And recent computing advancements, such as Google Earth Engine, which provides free access and computing for scientific analysis of satellite datasets, could also be used.
The study suggests that an international charter that makes satellite data freely available during major disasters should be expanded to include the “long-term man-made climate disaster”, enabling commercial satellite operators to easily contribute.
The research was supported by the International Space Science Institute ISSI Bern, Switzerland, and initiated by Dr. Shutler at the University of Exeter and Dr. Craig Donlon at the European Space Agency (ESA).
Iran attending World Travel Market Exhibition
The World Travel Market Exhibition, which is celebrating its 40th year, opened its doors in London with the presence of Iranian tour operators, leaders and officials.
The world’s largest travel trade show, which is part of the newly-inaugurated London Travel Week, is expected to see its 51,000 visitors and 5,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries pack into ExCeL London to conduct some £3.5 billion worth of deals.
Arg-e Jadid, Gardesh, Iran-e Doostan, Marcopaulo, Dorna Gasht and Pasargadae are the Iranian travel agencies which introduce Iran’s tourist attractions to the world.
The exhibition will run until November 7.
It’s a far cry from when the show was first opened by the Duke of Kent at Kensington Olympia in December 1980 when just 40 countries were on show and 7,700 visitors crossed the threshold of the inaugural exhibition.
Today, the show operates in a world where tourism is the UK’s fastest growing sector accounting for almost 12 percent of all jobs, generating £232 billion annually for the economy, and host city London is the third most-visited city in the world with more than 19 million visitors a year.
World Travel Market alone is thought to add £160 million to London’s economy, taking into account how much show visitors spend on hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
World Travel Market – London is the leading global event for the travel industry, a must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide tourism industry.
Protesters block roads in Beirut, other areas of Lebanon
Protesters blocked roads in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon on Monday, pressing a wave of anti-government demonstrations that have plunged the country into political turmoil at a time of economic crisis.
The nationwide protests, which were ignited on Oct. 17 by a government proposal to tax WhatsApp calls, led Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister last week. There has been no sign of progress yet toward agreement on a new government, Reuters wrote.
After Hariri quit, protests had ebbed, roadblocks were lifted and banks reopened for the first time in two weeks on Friday. But in the early hours of Monday, new roadblocks emerged in Beirut and around the country, snarling major traffic arteries including the main seaside highway north and south of the capital. Schools called off plans to reopen and are now in their third week of closure.
“People are continuing because you know you can’t trust this government, any part of it,” said Hashem Adnan, one of several dozen protesters blocking the Ring Bridge in Beirut.
In the northern city of Tripoli, demonstrator Rabih al-Zein said protesters had escalated again because they do not trust the ruling elite to meet demands for a new administration that will act against corruption. “We want technocrats (in government) and we want judges to fight corruption, recover stolen money and hold the government accountable,” he said.
Lebanon is grappling with the worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. With growth around zero percent, a slowdown in capital inflows has led to a scarcity of US dollars and pressure on the pegged Lebanese pound.
The pound, pegged at the official rate of 1,507.5 pounds to the dollar for 20 years, has strengthened since Hariri quit.
A dollar cost 1,680 pounds on the parallel market on Monday, a foreign exchange dealer said. The day Hariri quit, dollars were being offered at 1,800 pounds.
Iran announces spike in enriched uranium output
Nuclear chief: 30 more advanced centrifuges fired up
Iran announced Monday an over-tenfold rise in enriched uranium production following a series of steps back from commitments under a 2015 multinational nuclear deal initially ditched by the United States.
Iran has also developed two new advanced centrifuges, one of which is undergoing testing, said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Enriched uranium production has reached five kilograms per day, Salehi told reporters at the Natanz facility in central Iran in remarks broadcast on national TV.
That compares with the level of 450 grams two months ago when it dropped a number of commitments made under Iran’s landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Tehran decided in May to suspend certain obligations under the accord, a year after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Iran has so far hit back with three packages of countermeasures and warned it would go even further if the remaining signatories to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – particularly the Europeans, fail to help it circumvent US sanctions.
But so far, European nations have been unable to offer Iran a way to help it sell oil abroad as it faces strict US sanctions.
On July 1, Iran said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond a 300-kilo maximum set by the deal, and a week later, it announced it had exceeded a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks.
More new centrifuges spin
Salehi also said Iran has doubled the number of advanced centrifuges it operates, calling the decision a direct result of Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement.
Salehi pushed a button on a keyboard to start a chain of 30 IR-6 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility, increasing the number of working centrifuges to 60.
“With the grace of God, I start the gas injection,” the US-trained scientist said.
The nuclear deal limited Iran to using only 5,060 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges to enrich uranium by rapidly spinning uranium hexafluoride gas.
Iran fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles on September 7.
Salehi said Iranian engineers “have successfully built a prototype of IR-9, which is our newest machine, and also a model of a new machine called IR-s ... all these in two months”.
The IR-9, he said, works 50-times faster than the IR-1.
Iran has removed all of its nuclear deal-approved IR-1 centrifuges and is only using advanced machines, leading to the sharp increase in enriched uranium production, he added.
“We must thank the enemy for bringing about this opportunity to show the might of the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially in the nuclear industry,” Salehi said.
“This is while some say (Iran’s) nuclear industry was destroyed!” he said, laughing.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will announce further steps away from the accord sometime soon, government spokesman Ali Rabiei separately said Monday. An announcement had been expected this week.
Iran has threatened in the past to push enrichment back up to 20%.
Meanwhile, he European Union said on Monday it’s still committed to the Iran nuclear deal. Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said that the deal “is a matter of our security, not just the region or Europe but globally.”
But she said the EU’s commitment to the deal “depends on the full compliance by Iran.”
AFP and AP contributed to this story.
Iran Daily’s next issue will
come out Saturday due to national holiday.
Iran marks 40th anniversary of US Embassy takeover
Thousands rallied outside the former US Embassy in Tehran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the takeover of the American mission.
Marches and rallies were held in some 1,000 communities across the country four decades to the day after revolutionary students stormed the complex and seized dozens of American diplomats and embassy staff. They also recovered thousands of documents proving the US espionage activities in the embassy, which gained notoriety as the “Den of Espionage.”
Replica missiles and the same type of air defense battery used to shoot down a US drone in June were put on display outside the former embassy turned museum in Tehran.
Iranians massed in front of the building carrying effigies of US President Donald Trump and placards with slogans such as “Down with USA” and “Death to America.”
The demonstrators expressed their opposition to global hegemony by chanting slogans against the United States and Israel and set their flags on fire in condemnation of their policies of creating havoc in other countries.
Rallies were also held in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan, among others, with the local media estimating “millions of people” attending across the country.
National TV aired segments of a Canadian documentary titled “The Fire Breather,” showing Trump’s controversial 2016 campaign trail highlights and biting comments about his past alongside images of the rallies.
On November 4, 1979, less than nine months after the toppling of Iran’s American-backed shah, students overran the embassy complex to demand the United States hand over the ousted ruler after he was admitted to a US hospital.
Iran released women, African-Americans, as well as a man who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis days later, but it took 444 days for the takeover to end with the release of 52 American hostages. The US broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 and ties have been frozen ever since.
‘Den of Espionage’
The former US diplomatic compound in Tehran has long been regarded as a clear indication of how deep America’s intelligence operations run in other countries.
The students who took over the mission were able to piece together the shredded remains of various embassy documents that hinted at Washington’s secret plots against Iran and the Islamic Revolution.
The Founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini hailed the move by the students, describing the embassy takeover as the “second revolution.”
The 40th anniversary comes at a time of escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Trump withdrew the United States from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last year and reimposed punishing sanctions.
Tehran has hit back with three countermeasures since May, reducing parts of its compliance with the deal.
“At the time [of the embassy takeover], Americans believed they were an exceptional nation, able to commit any injustice anywhere,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told the press on Monday.
“America’s problem is still this sense of exceptionalism. It allows itself to trample international law and commit the worst crimes against nations with no fear of an international backlash,” he added.
The arch-foes came to the brink of a military confrontation in June when Iran downed a US Global Hawk drone in its airspace and Trump ordered retaliatory strikes before canceling them at the last minute.
On Sunday, Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei renewed a ban on talks with the United States, describing the two countries as implacable foes.
“Those who believe that negotiations with the enemy will solve our problems are one-hundred percent wrong,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei has banned Iranian officials from holding talks unless the United States returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.
Iran unveiled new anti-American murals on the walls of the former embassy on Saturday with stark images of a crumbling Statue of Liberty, a downed US drone and skulls floating in a sea of blood.
Iran’s Parliament gave initial approval to a measure requiring schoolbooks to inform students about “America’s crimes.”
AFP, Press TV and Reuters contributed to this story.
Six-medal tally seals world U23 GR title for Iran
A total of six medals – including three golds – saw Iran’s Greco Roman team claim the top spot at the 2019 World U23 Wrestling Championships in Budapest, capital of Hungary.
On Sunday, Mohammad-Reza Geraei routed Azerbaijan’s Sanan Suleymanov 7-0 in the men’s 72kg final.
Valentin Petic of Moldova and Ukrainian Maksym Yevtushenko – beaten by Geraei in the semifinal – shared the third spot.
Geraei’s triumph marked Iran’s third gold of the competitions as Meysam Dalkhani and Ali-Akbar Yousefi had bagged a couple of golds on the preceding night.
Dalkhani beat Georgian Levani Kavjaradze 7-6 to claim the 63kg gold while Yousefi was handed the 130kg gold after defending champion Zviadi Pataridze had to pull out of the final bout with a foot injury.
Additionally, Mehdi Mohsennejad, Sajjad Imantalab and Mohammad-Hadi Saravi added three bronzes to Iran’s account.
Mohsennejad bounced back from a quarterfinal defeat against Armen Melikyan of Armenia – who eventually won the gold – and beat the host’s Krisztian Kecskemeti 9-5 for a joint-third spot finish in the 60kg weight class – alongside Russain Artur Petrosian.
Imantalab, having suffered a second-round defeat against Aliaksandr Liavonchyk of Belarus, also beat Bulgarian Deyvid Dimitrov for the 67kg bronze.
Saravi, meanwhile, beat Ukraine’s Vladlen Kozliuk by a fall for the 97kg joint-bronze after a 5-1 defeat against the eventual gold medalist Arvi Savolainen of Finland in the quarters.
Iran collected 122 points for a first-place finish in the overall standings, followed by Georgia and Russia, which finished on 121 and 118 points respectively.
Iran’s Greco-Roman triumph came after the country’s freestyle team had finished second in the competitions last Wednesday.
A glittering campaign saw Iran collect six medals – three golds – and 139 points to stand behind Russia – which tallied 145 points.
Following Russia and Iran, Azerbaijan finished with 111pts.
Kamran Qasempour (86kg), Mojtaba Goleij (97kg) and Amirhossein Zare (125kg) bagged three gold medals while Mohammad Nokhodi had to settle for a silver after suffering a defeat in the 74kg final against Russia’s Razambek Zhamalov.
Alireza Sarlak (57kg) and Hossein Shahbazi (92kg), meanwhile, grabbed two bronzes for the country.
The third edition of the U23 championships took place in the Hungarian capital on October 28 – November 3.