Iran’s Leader, top officials condole passing of Palestinian resistance figure Jibril
An Iranian parliamentary delegation headed by Deputy Chairman of Syrian-Iranian Friendship Group Abbas Golroo visited the Syrian capital to discuss boosting bilateral relations with the Arab country’s officials.
The Iranian delegation on Thursday held separate meetings with Syrian foreign minister, prime minister, and parliament speaker in Damascus.
During a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, the two sides discussed bilateral relations, particularly relations between the two countries’ parliaments.
They also emphasized the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in defending the interests of the both countries’ people in international forums and laying the groundwork for strengthening the two countries’ capabilities and economic ties in the face of economic terrorism, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The Syrian foreign minister expressed his country’s gratitude for crucial role of Iran in supporting his country in its fight against terrorism on all political, military, and economic levels.
“Those who defeated Daesh and other terrorist organizations are not the ones who claim to have formed an alliance for this purpose, but Syrian, Iranian, and Russian fighters, as well as fighters from Iraq and Lebanon, whose blood was mixed with the soil of this land to eradicate the terrorist organizations supported by some states of that ominous alliance, which was fighting against everything,” he said.
Golroo expressed his country’s delight in the long-standing ties between the two countries and emphasized the importance of promoting economic and cultural ties.
The Iranian official and his accompanying delegation also held a meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous in Damascus.
Both officials stressed the need of strengthening parliamentary cooperation and expanding visits in order to advance the shared interests of the two friendly countries.
Arnous affirmed that the government of his country seeks to push forward and develop economic cooperation and trade exchange between the two countries and promote it up to the level of strategic relations that bind Syria and Iran.
Iran opens 50,000-tonne copper cathodes project
Iran launched a new project to produce 50,000 tons of copper cathodes a year, using bioleaching technology which the plant’s CEO said is revolutionary.
The project owned by the Iranian Babak Copper Company (IBCCO) and carried out with 40 trillion rials ($166 million) of investment was inaugurated by President Hassan Rouhani via a videoconference on Thursday, Press TV reported.
Copper cathodes are a basic form of copper used to make products such as copper rods and tubes.
The plant is located in Shahr-e Babak in Kerman Province, home to the Middle East’s largest open-pit copper mine.
It uses tank bioleaching process (metal solubilization by microorganisms) which is considered an environmental-friendly and economic method for separating copper from copper sulfide.
“With this opening, we will see the introduction of the latest environmental-friendly technology in the production of copper cathodes to Iran and the world, which will pave the way for a new revolution in copper cathode production,” IBCCO Managing Director Mohammadreza Mirzaei said.
“The most important factor that makes this production complex an unparalleled example in the world is the use of bioleaching technology for the first time in the world on an industrial scale,” he added.
The opening of the project, Mirzaei said, provides sustainable direct employment for 400 people.
IBCCO is a subsidiary of the Middle East Industries Development Holding Company (MIDHCO) which has initiated copper industry projects since 2010.
As of 2020, Iran produced about 309,000 tons of copper, according to data from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics. It aims to boost that to 800,000 tons by 2025.
The National Iranian Copper Industry Company (NICICO) operates the country’s three major copper mines of Sarcheshmeh, Sungun and Miduk which have combined reserves of 3.4 billion tons.
The Sarcheshmeh copper mine in the southeast Kerman Province is the world’s second largest. It holds over 826 million tons of proven and 1.2 billion tons of estimated reserves alongside substantial amounts of other minerals including molybdenum, gold, silver and rare metals.
The Sungun mine in East Azarbaijan Province is Iran’s second-largest copper operation with over 470 million tons of proven and one billion tons of potential reserves. The third major copper mine is Miduk in Kerman, that holds 170 million tons of proven copper reserves.
NICICO Chief Executive Ardeshir Sa’d-Mohammadi said Thursday he expects a new copper mine named Seridoon to become operational in Kerman with 1.5 million tons of reserves by March 2022.
He said 29 projects have been defined to raise Iran’s copper cathode production to 600,000 tons a year, making the country the 10th-largest producer of the vital material for the power and construction industries.
“With this program, we hope that our revenue from copper production will increase to $4.5 billion,” he told Tasnim News Agency.
Iran has about 37 billion tons of proven mineral reserves and 57 billion tons of potential reserves, worth $800 billion according to 2014 data on state-owned mines and metal holding company IMIDRO’s website.
“To be honest, this is definitely not an exact number,” Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Mehdi Karbasian said in August, 2020.
“Today, we only know about mines that are open; in other words, we have information up to depth of 100 and 150 meters of land, and we declare our reserves based on that, while we have not yet gone to the mines at great depths,” he said.
Like developed countries such as South Korea, Japan, and even Australia and South America, where mining has shifted from the land to the oceans, “if we go down to the deep mines, we will surely achieve very positive results,” Karbasian said.
However, the extractives industry in Iran is underdeveloped and mineral products account for only 0.6 percent of its GDP.
Oil has been the primary source of foreign currency for decades which, on the flip side, has relegated other industries to the fringes.
But with its oil industry under a strict sanctions regime which has cut revenues, the country is beginning to take stock of its other resources and mining is emerging as a new field which Iran can count on for revenue generation.
Iran has 300 million tons of lead and zinc reserves but the sector is largely underdeveloped. As of 2020, Iran produced about 132,000 tons of zinc and around 50,000 tons of lead.
The two largest mines are Mahdiabad in central Yazd Province with 16.5 million tons of zinc ore reserves and the Angouran mine in northwestern Zanjan Province with 9 million tons.
Iran is estimated to have around 2.7 billion tons of iron ore reserves. The Chadermalou, Golgohar and Sangan mines are considered the largest iron ore mines in the country.
It also has 250 tons of gold reserves. In 2014, Iran launched the Zarshuran plant in northwest Takab, which it billed as the biggest gold processing operation in the Middle East.
The country is a rising steel power. It was ranked 10th among global producers after output rose 10.7% to 7.5 million tons in the first quarter of this year, according to the World Steel Association.
Iran produced 29.3 million tons of steel in 2020, up 13.4 percent year on year. It aims to increase that to 55 million by 2025.
Iran says border in full control as Taliban capture key crossing
Zarif urges Afghan sides to end war
as soon as possible
Iran said on Friday that full security is maintained along the country’s eastern borders after the Taliban, which claims to be controlling 85 percent of the territory in Afghanistan, said they have captured the war-torn country’s main conduit for trade with neighboring Iran.
This was announced by Brigadier General Farhad Arianfar, the deputy chief of the Iranian Army Ground Force’s Operations, during a visit to Iran’s eastern borders, according to Press TV.
“With the Iranian Ground Force’s vigilant presence and efforts along hundreds of kilometers of the eastern borders, as well as the efforts of zealous border guards in the border areas in Sistan and Baluchestan Province and coordination with the dear forces of the Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC), we closely monitor the slightest movements near the borders and will not allow the slightest illegal motion through these borders.”
“The southeastern and eastern borders of the country are under 24-hour surveillance and are fully secure,” Brigadier General Arianfar added.
The Taliban said it will try to shortly put back into operation the Islam Qala border crossing in Herat Province.
This is while, an Afghan government official announced efforts are underway to recapture the border crossing.
Islam Qala is the second key border crossing the Taliban have captured since they launched a sweeping offensive in early May.
Over the last week, the Taliban have overrun areas bordering five countries – Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Pakistan – amid the US withdrawal of its forces from the country to end its 20-year military intervention and war, which the White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Thursday has “not been won militarily”.
The US Central Command has announced that the American withdrawal from the country, ordered in April by President Joe Biden, is now more than 90 percent complete.
According to the Pentagon, the Taliban are now in control of more than 100 of Afghanistan’s 419 district centers.
According to Russia, the group currently controls more than two-thirds of the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Moscow has urged all sides of the conflict to show restraint.
This comes as on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif advised all political sides involved in the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan to end the war as soon as possible and pave the way for the development of the war-ravaged country.
Zarif made the remarks while addressing the final session of intra-Afghan talks hosted in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
“A nation who has been suffering for 40 years has every right to be opposed to war. What I want from you is to take advantage of this opportunity and end the war in Afghanistan as soon as possible to provide the people of Afghanistan with an opportunity for development,” the top diplomat said.
“The Islamic Republic is always ready to facilitate the continuation of your talks in any way you wish,” Zarif stressed.
He expressed gratitude to both delegations for prioritizing peace and wellbeing of the Afghan people in the talks.
“Showing courage in peace is more important than showing courage in war; because to achieve peace, one must sacrifice and forgive and ignore maximum demands and [instead] heed the demands of the other side, especially in these negotiations where ... both sides are brothers and in pursuit of peace and wellbeing of the Afghan nation.”
At the end of the meeting, the two Afghan delegates issued a joint statement in which they thanked Iran’s efforts to restore peace to Afghanistan.
Having acknowledged the risks emanating from continued war and the damage it would inflict on the country, the two sides agreed that war was not a solution to the issue of Afghanistan and that all efforts needed to be directed toward reaching a political and peaceful
Moreover, the negotiating parties described the Tehran meeting as a new opportunity to reinforce the political solution to the Afghan crisis.
The two sides strongly condemned attacks that target people’s homes, government offices, mosques and hospitals as well as the destruction of public institutions, and called for the perpetrators to be punished.
Amid the escalation of fighting in Afghanistan, Tehran hosted on Wednesday four delegations, including representatives of the Afghan government and parliament, the Taliban group and prominent figures supporting the Republic system in the war-torn country.
The Afghan government’s delegation was headed by former vice president of Afghanistan, Yunus Qanuni; Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the head of Taliban’s political office in Qatar’s Doha, led the militant group’s delegation to
Iran, Russia, Turkey vow to defeat terrorists in Syria
Israel military attacks on Syria condemned
Iran, Russia and Turkey pledged to maintain cooperation in Syria to decisively defeat and destroy Daesh and other terrorists, while condemning Israel’s military attacks on the Arab country as a violation of international law.
The trio made the remarks in a joint statement following the 16th round of the Astana taks in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, on Thursday, IRNA reported.
They also stressed the necessity of the full implementation of the agreements and preservation of stability in Syria’s Idlib.
The three powers noted that they are determinedly opposed to separatists’ plans in Syria, which are aimed at weakening the Arab country’s unity and compromising the neighboring states’ security.
The statement added Iran, Russia and Turkey are against the illegal confiscation of Syria’s oil and transfer of the revenues generated through the sales of the Arab states’ crude.
In addition, the sides agreed that ensuring long-term security and stability in northeastern Syria is only possible through preserving the country’s government and retaining its territorial integrity.
Tehran, Moscow and Ankara emphasized in the statement that they carefully monitor and assess the situation of the de-escalation zone in Idlib and the importance of maintaining peace in the country through the full implementation of the previously signed agreements about the city.
They also expressed concern over the increased presence and activities of Tahrir al-Sham terror group and other terrorist organizations affiliated to it in Syria that threaten civilians in the country.
The 16th round of talks on Syria started in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan on Wednesday with the participation of Iran, Russia, and Turkey – the three guarantor states in the Syrian peace process – as well as representatives from the Syrian government and opposition groups besides the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, according to Press TV.
The Turkish delegation was represented by its Foreign Ministry director general responsible for Syria, Ambassador Selçuk Ünal. The Russian delegation was led by the country’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, and Iran by Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior adviser to the Iranian foreign minister on special political affairs.
On the first day of the meeting, Khaji, held talks with representatives of Syria, Russia and Turkey as well as the UN envoy.
The participants discussed a range of topics, including efforts to promote political stability in Syria, the recent presidential election in the country, holding the sixth session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, issues pertaining to border crossings and the US sanctions against Damascus.
The Iranian delegation outlined the country’s stance on the need to fight terrorism, dispatch humanitarian aid to Syria and secure a removal of the US sanctions.
The meeting also focused on the situation on the ground in Syria, socioeconomic and sanitary-epidemiological issues, international humanitarian assistance to Syria and confidence-building measures including prisoner exchanges, the release of hostages and the search for missing persons.
Praising the role being played by Iran, Russia and Turkey in efforts to resolve the Syria crisis in a Wednesday tweet, UN envoy Pedersen said he counts on the trio’s continued support for the world body’s political process to achieve that goal.
Since January 2017, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara have been mediating peace negotiations between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups in a series of talks held in the Kazakh capital Astana (now named Nur-Sultan) and other places, including Sochi.
The talks are collectively referred to as the Astana peace process.
The first round of the Astana talks commenced a month after the three states joined efforts and brought about the countrywide cease-fire in Syria and assumed the role of the truce’s guarantors.
Continued on Page 2
Raeisi: New government undoubtedly needs all people’s backing
Iran’s President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi said that no doubt the new government is in need of all the people’s support.
In an address to a Friday meeting with senior Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani, he described the presence and cooperation of each and every one of the country’s people as effective, IRNA reported.
Praising the presence of the country’s senior clerics in the June 18 presidential election and their support for the process, Raeisi noted that their guidelines can also be very effective for the future of the government.
Commenting on the 13th presidential election, he noted that, undoubtedly, the country’s senior clerics played a significant role in the creation of the June 18 epic.
“Today, people are grappling with serious livelihood and business problems. However, although different problems have surrounded the people’s lives, Iranians are very patient and are still resisting against the problems facing the [1979 Islamic] Revolution.”
He expressed hope that his administration would be able to improve the people’s lives in a tangible manner.
Raeisi, the former Judiciary chief, won the June 18 presidential election by garnering over 62 percent of the votes to succeed President Hassan Rouhani, who has served two four-year terms in office.
He will be sworn in as the eighth president of Iran at a ceremony in Parliament on August 3.
Earlier, in a meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Tehran on Wednesday, Raeisi highlighted the role of Iran and India as two influential players in the region, saying collective security and broad economic cooperation are among top priorities in ties between the two countries.
He added that “stable and lasting” relations between Tehran and New Delhi, especially in the economic field, depends on regulating bilateral ties in a manner that they would solely serve the two countries’ national interests.
Raeisi said the US “maximum pressure” policy against Iran had failed, as acknowledged by the Americans themselves, and the Islamic Republic would continue down its path to progress vigorously.
US plays with Iranians’ health for political gains: Envoy
Iran’s permanent envoy to the United Nations
described the US illegal and inhumane sanctions
targeting Tehran as means of endangering the Iranian people’s health toward political goals.
Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks on Thursday, addressing the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Meeting on AIDS, Press TV reported.
He also commented on Iran’s progress in the area of the health condition of the HIV positive patients and those who are subject to the unwelcome phenomenon.
The senior diplomat explained how Iranian scientists has managed to enable prevention of the disease’s transfer from affected mothers to their children and also contain the disease’s adverse effects.
Despite the notable progress, Iran is still suffering from the sanctions that prevent its access to medical products, technology and cooperation with the international financial institutions, he said.
The US re-imposed the sanctions in 2018 after leaving a 2015 historic multi-party nuclear deal with Iran and others that is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
It then began forcing other countries into abiding by the sanctions and stopping their trade with Iran. Washington’s European allies, including the UK, France and Germany, which are also JCPOA signatories, have been among those countries that have devotedly toed the sanction line.
“The United States’ oppressive and unilateral sanctions run counter to the principles and goals sought by the UN Charter as well as the international law and the essential norms that govern the international relations,” Takht-Ravanchi said.
He underscored that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the negative impact of the coercive measures, especially on women, children, adolescents, the elderly and those with
Endangering the general public’s heath and security toward political purposes is not only illegal, but tantamount to a “war crime and crime against humanity” that carries international accountability, he said.
He added that moral responsibility dictates that Iran poses strong opposition to the draconian economic bans and demand their speedy removal.