First Egyptian flight in over three decades takes off for Iran

Iran news headlines on Saturday include resumption of Egypt-Iran direct flights after decades; Kuwaiti Foreign Minister describing Iran as a major and influential player in Mideast; Iraq tightening control of Iran flights to Syria; continuation of India’s Iran oil imports and rise of Turkish gold export to Iran.


First Egypt flight in 34 years takes off to Iran

An Egyptian flight left Cairo airport on Saturday heading for the Iranian capital Tehran, the first between the two countries in 33 years.

The flight by a private Egyptian airliner, owned by the business tycoon Rami Lakah, took off with eight Iranians on board, marking the operation of a direct air route between the two countries.


Iran major, influential player in Mideast: Kuwaiti foreign minister

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah has stressed the need for stability and tranquility in the Middle East, describing Iran as a major and influential player in the region.

During a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi on the sidelines of the 11th ministerial meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on Friday, he stated that meetings and negotiations between Kuwaiti and Iranian officials were greatly beneficial to the ties between Kuwait City and Tehran.


Iraq says it will tighten controls on Iranian flights to Syria using its airspace

Iraq says it will stop more aircraft moving through its airspace and vehicles traveling overland to search for weapons being sent to the Syrian civil war, a senior Iraqi official said Friday.

Government spokesman Ali al-Moussawi said Iraq would conduct more random searches to check for weapons heading for the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad or rebels seeking to topple his regime.


India not to halt imports from Iran

Notwithstanding the tightening of sanctions by US and European Union (EU), India does not intend to halt imports of crude oil from Iran. Instead the government is working on a scheme to insure oil import shipments from the Islamic nation to maintain smooth supply of energy supplies and also expand trade in other commodities.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Veerappa Moily had earlier this week stated that India had no intentions to put a halt to imports from Iran.


Turkey gold exports to Iran resume despite tough US sanctions

Turkey exported almost $120 million worth of gold to Iran in February, data showed, suggesting the two countries’ trade of gold for natural gas has resumed despite tighter U.S. sanctions, though at levels below last year’s peaks.

U.S. officials have sought to prevent Turkish gold exports from providing a financial lifeline to Tehran, which has been largely frozen out of the global banking system by Western sanctions over its nuclear programme.


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