Iran news headlines on Sunday include Iran’s oil ministry spokesman remarks over country ban of oil and gas exports to EU; Iran inaugurating ‘Ya Zahra’ short-range missile production line; pressure of sanctions on Iranian students abroad; Iran denial of huge explosion at Iran’s Fordo enrichment plant; protest of Employees of Iran’s Entekhab Industrial Group in front of the South Korean Embassy demanding ‘return’ funds.
Iran’s oil ministry spokesman says all crude oil and gas exports have been banned to the 27-nation European Union, which has already imposed its own boycott on Iranian energy imports as part of sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.
It is unclear what practical effect the Iranian decision would have. But Sunday’s announcement by spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad Rahbar could be a symbolic act designed to reflect anger at Western unity over economic pressures on Iran.
Iran inaugurated the production line for a new short-range missile system, named “Ya Zahra” on Sunday, the Mehr News Agency quoted Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi as saying.
Large scale production of another air defense system, named Mersad, started, simultaneously.
The international sanctions have caused the Iranian currency to nose-dive, and for Iranian students abroad who rely on savings or family support from back home, the collapse has doubled or tripled the cost of their foreign education.
It is not that they have less money, but that their money has lost its value overseas. For many years, a dollar was worth around 10,000 Iranian rials. But last year, after additional restrictions were placed on banking and the oil market, and in the face of reported domestic mismanagement, the rial plummeted. By late 2012, Iranians reported paying 40,000 or 50,000 rials for a dollar; the rate has now leveled off at around 33,000.
Yediot Ahronot reported. on Friday that former Iranian intelligence officials who defected to the West claim that Iran’s underground Fordo uranium enrichment facility has been almost completely demolished, and hundreds of staff members are at this moment trapped underground, This has to be the worst blow to Iran’s nuclear ambitions so far.
About 1,000 Iranian workers have staged a protest rally in front of the South Korean Embassy in Tehran demanding the return of $70 million allegedly held by Seoul after a collapsed business deal.
Employees of Iran’s Entekhab Industrial Group claim South Korea has blocked a refund of the money after a failed bid in 2010 to buy Daewoo Electronics, a former subsidiary of the now-defunct Daewoo Group.
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