Iran news headlines on Thursday include assassination of an Iranian IRGC commander in Lebanon; Iran suggestion to progress in UN atom talks; Iran denial of shipping arms to Islamist militants in Somalia; rise of oil price after Iran nuclear talks and Iran setting up a natural gas liquid project in the Sirri Island in the Persian Gulf.
An Iranian independent news website is reporting that a senior commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has been killed in Lebanon
The website – mashreghnews.ir – says Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed by “mercenaries of the Zionist regime,” but provided no details about his death.
Iran indicated that some progress was made in talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Wednesday, but that the two sides again failed to finalize an elusive framework deal over the Islamic state’s disputed atomic activity.
Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said a new meeting would be held, without giving a date. There was no immediate comment from the IAEA about the one-day meeting in Tehran.
Iran has denied allegations that it has been supplying Islamist militants in Somalia with weapons, describing the charges as “absurd fabrications,” according to a letter obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
As the United States pushes for an end to the U.N. arms embargo on Somalia, U.N. monitors following Somalia sanctions are warning that Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa nation are receiving weapons from distribution networks linked to Yemen and Iran.
Oil prices rose on Thursday as fresh tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme revived global supply concerns, offsetting weaker-than-expected growth data from France and Germany.
Crude futures prices had dropped after data showed Europe’s two largest economies shrunk markedly in the last quarter of 2012, dampening recent optimism over the region’s recovery.
Iran started a natural gas liquid project in the Sirri Island in the Persian Gulf, to exploit condensate and collect associated gas, the Oil Ministry News website Shana reported.
The Sirri NGL, which came onstream today after being inaugurated by the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has the capacity to process 3.5 million cubic meters of associated gas a day into feedstock for petrochemical plants and injection to national gas grid.
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