Iran news headlines on Monday include Iran’s Intelligence Ministry remark over West launching a ‘currency war’ against Iran to destabilize country; Israel grounding its UAVs in Azerbaijan for fear of Iran seizure; China’s imports of crude from Iran rebounding to the highest level in six months; Pakistani Foreign Minister speech on IP gas pipeline project progress and an Iranian lawmaker statement on country suspending nuke talks due to the Western intentions to prolong the process.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry says the West has launched a “currency war” against Tehran to destabilize the Islamic Republic. The director of the ministry’s economy department, who was unnamed in the Monday report from the semiofficial Fars agency, says that expanding domestic production can help counter Western sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.
Israel has grounded its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Azerbaijan after Iran’s capture of two US-made RQ-150 drones. Israeli drones, including its medium size multi-payload Hermes 450, have stopped flying after senior Azeri Defense Ministry experts notified the Zionist regime of their concerns about the possible seizure of the drones by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
China’s imports of crude from Iran rebounded to the highest level in six months in December after the U.S. renewed an exemption from penalties on banks that process payments for the Persian Gulf nation’s oil. China, the world’s second-biggest crude consumer, bought 2.52 million metric tons of oil from Iran last month, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs today. That’s up 43 percent from November, when purchases slipped 9.3 percent. Shipments averaged 596,000 barrels a day, the most since June, and advanced 3.6 percent from December 2011, the data showed.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Monday that despite sanctions on Iran, there was progress on the gas pipeline project. During the National Assembly session, Khar said funding for the gas pipeline project was a huge challenge. Pakistan required $1.5 billion to construct the 781 kilometer pipeline required for the project.
Deputy Chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission says Iran may suspend talks on nuclear issue due to the Western intentions to prolong the process. Mansour Haqiqat Pour in interview to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting website provided comments on the Iran-5+1 talks, saying that “Europe and the West want to prolong talks and they are seeking specific objectives hereby.”
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