TEHRAN – Iranian car maker Iran Khodro will establish an assembly line with the capacity of 30,000 units per year in the Iraqi city of Iskandariya by the next month.
Preliminary agreements were made three years ago, IRNA quoted Iran Khodro deputy director for exports Abdol’azim Sa’dian as saying.
Iran Khodro has been exporting its products to Iraq for about a decade, he said.
Iran plans to manufacture at least three million cars by 2025 and export some one million sets, Iranian Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari has said.
Iranian car manufacturers produced 1.648 million cars in 2011, ranking the country 13th in the world, according to a report by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.
Meanwhile, Iran imported over 44,000 cars, worth more than $1 billion, during the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20.
The United Arab Emirates, South Korea, and Kuwait were the main sources of exporting cars to Iran.
TEHRAN – Iran has threatened it may stop oil exports if the West tightens sanctions against Tehran.
“If sanctions intensify we will stop exporting oil,” Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday.
Qasemi said Iran had a “Plan B” contingency strategy to survive without oil revenues.
“We have prepared a plan to run the country without any oil revenues,” Qasemi said. “So far to date we haven’t had any serious problems, but if the sanctions were to be renewed we would go for ‘Plan B’.
“If you continue to add to the sanctions we (will) cut our oil exports to the world… We are hopeful that this doesn’t happen, because citizens will suffer. We don’t want to see European and U.S. citizens suffer,” he said.
The minister added the loss of Iranian oil on the market would drive oil prices up.
TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast condemned on Friday the recent terrorist bomb attack in Beirut, in which a number of civilians lost their lives and many others were injured.
Mehmanparast said that the attack was intended to sow discord among various Lebanese groups.
“This act has been done with the aim of creating rift among various factions in Lebanon,” he stated, adding, “And this act has been done by those elements who have never cared about the interests of the Lebanese people and government and do not think about anything other than their evil objectives.”
Mehmanparast called for an immediate identification and punishment of the perpetrators of the attack and sympathized with the bereaved families and the Lebanese nation and government.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also called on all Lebanese groups and parties to prevent the realization of the enemies’ plots through demonstrating vigilance and unity.
He added that it is the Zionist regime, which is the “main enemy” of the people in Lebanon and other regional countries, that “undoubtedly” benefits from “insecurity and instability” in the region.
TEHRAN – In a telephone conversation earlier this month President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally invited his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran in late August, the aharam online said on its website on Saturday.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast has confirmed the invitation, describing Morsi as a principal guest of the the event.
The Mehr News Agency correspondent has learned that Mojtaba Hashemi-Samareh, the senior advisor to Ahmadinejad, will visit Cairo to deliver Ahmadinejad’s invitation letter to Morsi.
Egypt currently holds NAM presidency. It will hand over the presidency of the body to Iran for a period of three years. As of 2012, the movement had 120 members and 21 observer countries.
Relations between Egypt and Iran were strained since they severed diplomatic ties in 1980 following Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
President Anwar Al-Sadat – a strong ally of the ousted monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – severely attacked the Islamic revolution.
Only a few months after Egypt’s 2011 uprising, the first Iranian envoy to Cairo in over 30 years was appointed. Months before that, Egypt had allowed two Iranian naval vessels pass through the Suez Canal, also a first-time event in 30 years.
BAGHDAD – The six major powers known as the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) failed to reach an agreement between themselves on a package of proposals which had been presented by Iran in the meeting on Wednesday.
Sources close to the meeting have blamed the U.S. for the failure of talks between the major powers, the Mehr News Agency correspondent reported from Baghdad.
Iran had presented a five-point proposal which included “nuclear and non-nuclear issues”.
Diplomats close to the talks say the major powers have reneged on their promises of reciprocal steps which had been agreed upon in the Istanbul talks on April 4.
In the meeting negotiators from the 5+1 group especially the U.S. used a language similar to those of Israeli officials and this caused a hurdle in the talks, diplomat said.
According to our correspondent, the 5+1 group is suggesting another place for a next meeting. However, the Iranian side is seeking a tentative agreement in Baghdad before setting a date for the next meeting.
Iran’s lead negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the major powers in the talks, held bilateral talks late on Wednesday and early Thursday.
The two top negotiators plan to brief reporters about the results of negotiations later today.