Weekly report: Trump’s offer for direct talks with Iranian leadership

August 5, The Iran Project – Trump: I am ready to meet with Iran ‘any time they want to’ – with no preconditions; Quadrilateral meeting held at Syrian peace talks in Sochi; Zarif visits defence ministry to get to know capabilities, achievements of defence industry; Iranian officials show mixed reactions to Trump’s call for talks; Iran partakes in Int’l Sea Cup in Baku; Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visit to Sri Lanka and Singapor and takes part in ASEAN meeting; Iran joins TAC treaty; Army Games’ diving competitions held in Iran; Iranian navy team breaks world records in depth 2018 competition and Five ATR turboprop aircraft land in Tehran are among major headlines dominated the country’s media outlets in the past week (July 30–August 05).

 

Politics

Trump: I am ready to meet with Iran ‘any time they want to’ – with no preconditions

President Donald Trump on Monday said that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “any time they want to,” and that he would impose no preconditions to such a meeting.

FM Zarif leaves Tehran for Sri Lanka, Singapore

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left Tehran for Colombo, Sri Lanka on Tuesday to discuss ways to develop bilateral ties.

Hormuz Strait remaining open hinges on Iran’s interests: Navy commander

Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said the Navy has ensured freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz but stressed that keeping the strait open hinges on the Islamic Republic’s interests.

Iran’s Rouhani says it’s up to Europe to save nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday the U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear deal was “illegal” and it was up to Europe to preserve the landmark accord with Tehran.

Quadrilateral meeting held at Syrian peace talks in Sochi

The 10th round of Syrian peace talks, known as Astana format, began its second day on Tuesday with a quadrilateral meeting between Iran, Turkey, Russia and the UN envoys for Syria.

Zarif visits defence ministry to get to know capabilities, achievements of defence industry

The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his colleagues in the foreign ministry became acquainted with the latest achievements of Iran’s flourishing defence industry in a visit to the defence ministry headquarters in Tehran on Tuesday.

President agrees to change gov’t spokesman

Incumbent government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht announced President Hassan Rouhani’s agreement to change government spokesman.

Iranian officials show mixed reactions to Trump’s call for talks

 Remarks by US President Donald Trump that he is ready for unconditional talks with Iran have received mixed responses in Iran with some arguing for the need for direct communications between the two arch-foes and others expressing pessimism the US is honest in its request for talks.

Iran partakes in Int’l Sea Cup in Baku

Iranian navy forces attended the 2018 International Sea Cup which kicked off on Tuesday night in city of Baku, Azerbaijan.

Iran, Sri Lanka discuss economic ties, regional, intl. issues

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Sri Lankan counterpart in Colombo discussing bilateral economic relations and the most important regional and international issues.

Iran FM takes part in ASEAN meeting

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore.

Iran joins TAC treaty

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accepted Iran as a member of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on Thursday.

Army Games’ diving competitions held in Iran

As the International Army Games 2018 are gaining momentum in seven host countries, Iran’s Navy is holding the diving competitions.

Zarif discusses regional, intl. issues with counterparts in Singapore

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate meetings with his Chinese, Indonesian, Australian and New Zealander counterparts in Singapore.

EU seeks to continue cooperation with Iran despite US sanctions – Mogherini

The European Union intends to continue and even step up its trade and economic cooperation with Iran, despite the US decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Friday.

“Trump bites off more than he can chew”

Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei referred to numerous encounters of US President with the world, saying that “Trump bites off more than he can chew.”

Iranian navy team breaks world records in depth 2018 competition

The Iranian Navy’s team on Saturday managed to break two world records in the Depth 2018, an international competition among naval divers underway in Iran’s northern city of Nowshahr.

US, allies spent $500bn to destabilize region: Defense minister

Brigadier General Amir Hatami, Iranian Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, criticized US destabilizing role in the Middle East region.

Amir-Abdollahian: Talks not taboo subject, Iran has issues with US behavior

Iranian parliamentary official Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Iran has no problem with talks per se, rather it has issues with US bullying behavior and repeated violations of its commitments.

Spokesman: Iran to stand against US “Illogical Behavior”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed negotiations with Washington under sanctions and pressures, and underlined the need for the Iranian people and officials to resist against the US “illogical behavior”.

Trump says meeting with Iran is ‘up to them’

President Donald Trump on Saturday said any meeting with the Iranian regime is “up to them.”

 

Economy

Iran climbs 32 places in WB’s 2018 logistic performance index

Iran’s world ranking in the Logistic Performance Index improved 32 places within two years as, with the score of 2.85, the country was positioned at 64th place out of a total of 160 countries reviewed by the World Bank in its latest 2018 report.

Deutsche Bank bans cash delivery to Iran

Germany’s Deutsche Bank passed a new financial policy on Wednesday which will prevent any money transfer to Iran in cash.

Ambassador downplays efforts to stop Iran’s oil exports

Iran’s ambassador in London Hamid Baeidinejad said on Thursday that US efforts through new round of economic sanctions to completely stop Iran’s oil exports will prove futile.

Senior Iranian clerics ask Rouhani to fight corruption

As a third day of protests erupted across major Iranian cities over the country’s worsening economic situation, the clergy in Iran is looking inward. Rather than only pointing the blame at US sanctions, the most senior clerics in Iran — often referred to as “grand ayatollahs” — are demanding that the administration and the judiciary take a harder line fighting economic corruption.

Veep Jahangiri: Iran to announce new mechanism to prevent further rial depreciation

The Iranian First Vice-President Es’hagh Jahangiri said Sat. that a new set of forex policies to bring the rial depreciation under control will be announced by Central Bank of Iran on Monday.

Five ATR turboprop aircraft land in Tehran

Five ATR turboprop aircraft landed in Mehrabad Airport on Sunday morning, to be added to the Iran Air’s fleet.

 

Regional Affairs

Iran’s presence in Syria discussed at Sochi talks — source

The issue of Iran’s military presence in Syria was raised during consultations at the international meeting on Syria in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, a source close to the talks informed TASS on Tuesday.

Tehran, Moscow, Ankara urge countering plots to partition Syria

Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantor states for a peace process in Syria, have expressed their firm determination to counter any plot aimed at partitioning the Arab country.

Myanmar roundly shamed over human rights inquiry panel

Various human rights activists and observers have roundly denounced Myanmar’s decision to appoint a commission of inquiry into widespread human rights abuses perpetrated with the state’s own backing and with the military’s direct participation against the Rohingya Muslim community.

In tit-for-tat response, Erdogan says Turkey to freeze assets of ‘US justice, interior ministers’

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will freeze the assets in Turkey of the US ministers of “justice and interior,” in tit-for-tat response to US sanctions on his country over the detention of an American pastor.

Senators pass bill to increase US aid to Israel to $3.8 billion

US senators are quietly paving the way for a military aid to Israel that that exceeds $3.8 billion.

 

Society

VP says tougher measures to be imposed against online child abuse

Iranian VP Masoumeh Ebtekar says that the review of Law on Protection of Children and Adolescents in the Parliament will address online child abuse issues.

From Sweden: Manchester City watch Iran winger, club president avoids question about bid being made

Manchester City’s strategy of signing relatively unknown players for small fees with the aim of profiting in some way could continue after it was revealed that a club scout watched Iran winger Saman Ghoddos at the weekend.

Iranian welder bravely struggles for her life

In life, failures come easy, and success is hard won. However, the drive to work hard makes even the impossible possible. Such is the story of a young woman who made significant strides to realise her ambition of becoming a welder and eventually succeeded.

Genetic admixture to augment wildlife population in Hamedan

A project to stimulate genetic admixture among the wildlife species in Lashgardar Protected Area in Malayer, Hamedan Province, will be carried out this year to stem a decline in their populations, the head of the Department of Environment said.

65 Iranian crafts to be reviewed for UNESCO Seal of Excellence

A panel of international judges in design and handicraft production will meet in Tehran Sun. to review 65 Iranian handicrafts and 16 others from West Asian member states UNESCO Seal of Excellence consideration.