Iran news headlines on Saturday include Iran opening first gas storage facility in Qom; Turkish Economy Minister criticizing EU sanctions on Iran; Iran’s chief of police remarks over developing ‘smart control’ software for social-networking sites; an Iranian businessman accusing of nuclear smuggling deported from the U.S.; rising Turkish gold exports to Iran and Iran’s foreign ministry visiting Cairo for talks.
Iranian state TV on Saturday said the country has inaugurated its first natural gas storage facility. According to the report, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the facility at Sarajeh outside the central Iranian holy city of Qom. It said that the site can now store 1.5 billion cubic meters, adding that the capacity would increase to 3.3 billion cubic meters in a second phase of development.
Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan leveled harsh words at the EU on Friday over Turkey’s gold trade with Iran, telling reporters in İstanbul on Friday that the sanctions do not concern Turkey Today`s Zaman reproted.
Speaking to reporters on January 2, Ahmadi Moghadam said the “smart control” of social-networking sites is more useful than their complete filtering. “The smart control of social-networking sites not only prevents their harm, but also allows people to benefit from their useful parts,” he said. Moghadam said the establishment last year of a Supreme Council of Cyberspace was a factor in reaching that conclusion.
U.S. immigration officials have deported an Iranian businessman found guilty of illegally shipping equipment to Iran that authorities said could be used in the country’s nuclear program. Amirhossein Sairafi pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy, money laundering and violating the 1995 Iran trade embargo and was sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Turkey’s gold exports rose nearly 800 percent last year on the back of soaring sales to Iran and the trade will continue, despite tightening U.S. sanctions on Tehran, Turkey’s economy minister said on Friday. Turkish gold exports rose to $12.7 billion in the first eleven months of 2012 compared to the $1.47 billion exported in the whole of the previous year, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan told a briefing in Istanbul.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will visit Egypt next week for talks on bilateral ties and the crisis in Syria, the ISNA news agency reported Saturday quoting an Iranian diplomat. Salehi will meet with his counterpart Mohammed Kamel Amr and President Mohammed Morsi during his two-day visit which begins on January 9, said Mojtaba Amani, the head of Tehran’s interests section in Cairo.
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