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Registration of applications for NETTY 2013 continues
11.05.2013 00:57
Winners of the 9th National Internet Award NETTY 2013 is chosen in Azerbaijan, the website of theMinistry ofCommunications and Information Technology said.

According to the terms of the contest, participants can submit their applications for registration ofwebsites and projects from April 3 to May 31, 2013. For participation applicants should register on theNETTYwebsite:

Votingof the Expert Council and Virtual Jury to determine the nominees for the prizewill be held simultaneously from June 1 to June 11.

On June 12,the NETTY Academy will start its voting which will will be based on afinalchoice of the Expert Council that selects three nominees for each category and Virtual jury that selects one nominee for each category.

The Academy chooses a single award winner in each of 12 nominations. At the same time it votes on non-competitive honorary and 'special mention' prize nominations.

A new 'special mention' prize nomination for "Best mobile device applications" was open in 2013. The most popular and in-demand applications built in Azerbaijan on the basis of mobile systems Android, iOS, Windows Phone will be determined within the nomination.

This year the Academy will also traditionally award a honorary prize "For contribution to development of the domestic information technologies" and "IT developments of the year".

The competition is supported by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Dear User, please take into the consideration the fact that all news are posted to our portal automatically by the system and no human factor is used to estimate the content of information, therefore if you consider this article non-ethical, offensive, illegal or incorrect, we kindly ask you to inform us about this issue.
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  • Azerbaijan claims 16 medals at LA 2015
    31.07.2015 16:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31Trend:Azerbaijani athletes have already won 16 medals at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, said Shahin Aliyev, the chairman of Azerbaijan's Special Olympics Committee, according to a message from Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles.Aliye...
  • Iran top nuclear official says no need to ratify nuclear agreement
    31.07.2015 15:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31By Fatih Karimov - Trend:The head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) underlined that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by Iran and P5 1 on July 14 is not an international agreement to be ratified in Parliament.Ali Akbar Salehi the hea...
  • Azerbaijan searching for traces of 40-million heroine in Karabakh
    31.07.2015 15:43
    Azerbaijan investigates whether a large amount of heroin seized in Romania was delivered to the country via Nagorno-Karabakh.Spokesman for Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev made the remarks, APA reports."Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that the territories occupied by Armenia are fertile ...
  • Turkeyв's revenues from tourism fall sharply
    31.07.2015 14:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:In the second quarter of 2015, Turkey's revenues from tourism fell sharply compared to the same period last year, said the message of the Turkish Statistical Institute July 31.In the second quarter of this year, Turkey's tourism revenues de...
  • US, Iran not to share Middle East
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    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:There are no prospects for normalization of relations between the US and Iran, Gordon Hahn, professor of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, analyst and advisory board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, told Trend Ju...
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    31.07.2015 12:49
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  • Turkey wants to become full member of SCO
    31.07.2015 10:56
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:Turkey intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), said the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to China, Kanal7 reported July 31.He said that after India and Pakistan decided to join the SCO, t...
  • UK lifts sanctions on 2 Iranian oil companies
    31.07.2015 10:22
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 30By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:The United Kingdom eliminated sanctions on Iranian Petropars Aria Kish Operation and Management Co. and Petropars Resources Engineering Kish Co.According to a statement, released by UK HM Treasury, on June 22, 2015 a judgment of the General Court ...
  • Small plane crash in south England kills 4 on board: media
    01.08.2015 00:47
    A small plane Friday crashed into a car auction site in Blackbushe Airport in south England's Hampshire, killing all the four people on board, Xinhua reported.

    A pilot and three passengers died after the crash, Britain's Sky News reported quoting anonymous source.

    "Blackbushe Airport confirms that a Phenom 300 Jet with four persons on board crashed near the end of the runway around 3:09 p.m. while attempting to make a landing," a spokesman for Blackbushe Airport said in a statement.

    "The scene was attended by Blackbushe Fire and Rescue within minutes, followed by Hampshire fire, police and ambulance units. Emergency services are currently controlling the scene," the statement added.

    Hampshire Police said road closures were in place and ambulance and fire crews were also in attendance.

    "We're dealing with an air emergency incident at Blackbushe Airport. Please avoid the area if you can," Hampshire Police tweeted.

    The Hazardous Area Response Team of South East Coast Ambulance Service tweeted earlier that initial reports suggested there might be four casualties, but the number has not been officially confirmed by British authorities.

    Aerial footage and photos posted on social media show that the plane crashed into and damaged multiple cars on the ground before bursting into flames.

    The Farnborough-based Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed it has sent a team to investigate the aircraft accident.

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  • Turkey shifts from Europe to Asia
    31.07.2015 23:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey no longer dreams today of joining the European Union, a dream that they cherished for many years.

    The Turkish government in recent years has repeatedly stated that the EU carries out the policy of double standards against Ankara. These statements are becoming justified.

    This attitude has led to the fact that Ankara had to reconsider its priorities with respect to the EU. The fact that along with the continuation of negotiations on EU accession, Turkey has not stopped the search for alternative structures is a good example of that.

    Against the background of negotiations on accession to the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to China that Turkey intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

    This statement indicates that Turkey is no longer interested in the EU as before. Earlier, one of the most powerful figures of Turkey's political elite, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that Turkey's accession to EU has lost its attractiveness for the country's citizens.

    The negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU were resumed in 2005.

    What does EU lose by refusing to accept Turkey's membership?

    First, Turkey is one of the most powerful militaries in the region. Moreover, this country has a rapidly growing economy. That's to say, as distinct from several EU members, Turkey is not a country with poor economic conditions.

    Moreover, Turkey aims to become the region's energy hub and we can say that it has partially achieved this goal over the past 13 years.

    Moreover, Turkey is a secular Muslim country which allows it to play an important role in the interfaith dialogue.

    Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir previously urged EU to start a new phase of talks that began in May 2015.

    Earlier, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy amp; Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that the European Commission is considering the issue of modernization of EU-Turkey Customs Union.

    Indeed, the modernization of this union is more important than starting the economic dialogue between the two sides.

    Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and therefore, it is obliged to reduce customs duties for EU countries. In addition, the EU and the US intend to sign Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement which will first of all damage Turkey's interests.

    Once this agreement signed, the US products will be delivered to Turkish markets free of duty which means billions of dollars of loss for Ankara.

    The negotiations on TTIP started in July 2013 and nine rounds have been held to date. It is expected that the US and EU will resolve the issue of signing the TTIP agreement.

    That's to say, Ankara well understands that alongside with benefits, the accession to EU is also fraught with serious risks for its economy.


    Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Post sanctions Iran must redefine its economy
    31.07.2015 21:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    An Iranian former top oil official believes that Iran should redefine its economy in the post sanctions era.

    Expectations are that sanctions imposed on Iran will be lifted by the end of the year, and European delegations, headed by top officials, have been visiting Iran intensively. A German delegation visited Iran last week, while delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties in coming weeks.

    Iran hopes to attract about $600 billion in investment for its energy-related projects mid-term.

    This is while, according to OPEC's estimation, OPEC would need to invest an average of close to $40 billion annually in the remaining years of this decade. This figure was $120 billion in 2014 or three times more than the annual investment amount. However, according to Wood Mackenzie's estimations, the plunge in oil price since last summer caused the suspension of 46 big oil and gas projects. The cost of suspended projects in 2015 is estimated to reach about $200 billion.

    "In fact most OECD members are now contemplating their relationship with post sanction Iran. To the best of my knowledge the EU is already more creative and is trying to redesign its economic relationship with a post sanction Iran,' Fereydoun Barkeshli, the former general manager of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in OPEC and International Affairs told Trend July 31.

    "I believe that the West is doing its job with re-engaging in Iran well but my worry is that on the domestic side in Iran we are not preparing ourselves for a post sanction relationship with the world. The way I see it now a pond is going to connect with an ocean. This is not easy. The world does not restart where we left it. We have to redefine our economy too. As for oil and gas, we created a review committee and a group of experts are taking time to redraft the contracts and a kind of strategic approach has been adopted. This needs to be done for the entire economy".

    Iran had also defined a long-term (20-25 years) new model contract that it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC) to replace the old, less popular buyback agreements to attract foreign companies. However, it's not clear whether IPC could compete with production sharing agreements (PSA) that is popular with companies, but is banned in Iran.

    Barkeshli who is a member of Iranian team in drafting the IPC, believes that "In 2012 Iran stood at 137 among 183 countries that were evaluated for investment risk by the International Bank for Resettlement. In 2013 the same ranking was maintained because of UN sanction that did not allow any inflow of capital into Iran. However in 2014 the bank decided to do a ranking despite continuous sanction where Iran's standing was raised to 121, a 16 point improvement from two years before. We have not seen any new rankings from international banks or institutions for 2015 yet. However most observers expect a positive jump".

    Barkeshli says, "I do not personally see a very big jump though, because Iran's economy needs to be rewardingly accessible. Iran is now already a big producer of many industrial products. Iran is the fifth largest automobile producer in the world. As such Iran does not want to import finished goods that are already produced but technology, know-how, management and capital plus access to world markets to export with the help of western companies. This is something that will not come in easily and can not get a big share of EU's $250 Billion foreign investment".

    The European Union has put about $250 billion direct investment abroad in 2014, while the total amount of global foreign direct investment was about $1,600 billion.

    On the other hand, Iran has tens of billion dollars of blocked assets abroad.

    Barkeshli, who is currently a private energy consultant and president of the Vienna Energy Research Group says, "I am afraid Iran will have a good chance of converting her assets abroad into capital goods. Most host countries prefer to barter the money with consumer goods".

    "Iran's total GDP stands at around $400 Billions. This puts Iran at 31st largest economy in the world. Iran has to urgently enter $1000 Billions nations club in order to be among the top twentieth. If this objective materializes, Iran can expect to attract some 20-25 percent of the EU's foreign investments on a regular basis. However, we have to note that Iran is now the last remaining greatly populated country with a large and diversified economy".

    The former top oil official added that Iran has easy access to several neighboring countries to export goods and services and integrate into a large economic block. "For this Iran will need some 6-7 percent of continuous GDP growth rate. then Iran could join as the seventh member of the BRICS, perhaps: IBRCS", he said.

    Edited by CN

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  • US resumes duty-free import of Azerbaijani goods
    31.07.2015 20:49
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31


    Azerbaijani exporters will be able to import goods in the territory of the United States on preferential terms or without paying customs duty until 2018, said the message of Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), published July 31 on its website.

    The changes are provided in the act adopted by the US Congress to extend the program "Generalized System of Preferences" (GSP).

    This act extends the right to use the GSP program until December 31, 2017, said the message. The act came into force on July 29, 2015 and these benefits will be also applied to goods imported into the United States since the period of the loss of power of the previous act [July 31, 2013]. Accordingly, the exporters will be able to get back the customs duties paid for goods delivered to the US in the period from July 31, 2013 to July 29, 2015, said the message.

    GSP program promotes economic development by eliminating duties on up to 5,000 types of products when imported from developing countries. Products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include most manufactured items, many types of chemicals, minerals and building stone, jewelry, many types of carpets and certain agricultural and fishery products.

    Edited by CN

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  • Demand for Russian ruble grows in Kazakhstan
    31.07.2015 20:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Demand for Russian rubles has grown in Kazakhstan again in June, analytical service said.

    After the 50-percent drop in demand for rubles in May compared to April, the sales of rubles increased by 42 percent in June, or by 17.1 billion tenge (187.45 tenge = $1), said the analytical service.

    In total, 57.9 billion tenge worth of Russian currency was sold by exchange offices in Kazakhstan in June, or by 27.8 billion tenge (92.2 percent) more compared to June 2014.

    The growth in demand for the ruble was observed in all regions of Kazakhstan.

    The following provinces of Kazakhstan saw the highest growth rate in a month: Aktobe (almost twofold increase - 3.5 billion tenge), Astana (61.7 percent - 8 billion tenge) and Atyrau (58.7 percent - 2.5 billion tenge).

    The exchange offices of Almaty (10.1 billion tenge) and Astana (8 billion tenge) ranked first and second, respectively for the sale volume of Russian rubles.

    Regions bordering Russia are traditionally leading among the provinces: East Kazakhstan province - 6.6 billion tenge, West Kazakhstan - 5.3 billion tenge and Pavlodar - 4.8 billion tenge.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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  • How to choose a watermelon?
    31.07.2015 20:03
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Who doesnв't love sweet, juicy, cold watermelon on hot summer days?

    But choosing the perfect watermelon isnв't as easy as it seems to be. Watermelon is somehow like a present: youв're pretty sure that you will like whatв's inside, but you are never really sure until you open it. If you find a bad one, you may spend the next couple of days in front of the bucket.

    Since you cannot stealthily peel back the wrapping of a watermelon in the grocery store to sneak a peek at whatв's inside, youв'll have to employ some different techniques to determine its ripeness.

    Here are some tips that will help you when choosing a watermelon:

    1. Bright and contrasting stripes

    First of all, the degree of a melon is an indicator of its maturity. A good watermelon stripe should have as much of brown color contrast as possible.

    Moreover, the darker the color of the creamy spot, the longer it was on the vine sweetening up. If it is white it means that this indicates an unripe melon.

    2. Shiny surface

    A watermelonв's surface has to be shiny and firm enough so that not even a nail can pierce it. When ripe, the fruit dries at the tail, that is, stops the ingress of moisture and the crust hardens. If the nail easily penetrates into the crust by rubbing it and it smells of freshly cut grass, it means that the fruit is immature.

    3. Large, but not huge

    A large size is not a guarantee of its good taste or maturity. It is better to choose fruit of medium size, respecting the rule of "golden mean." When you pick up the melon, it should feel like it weighs more than it should for its size.

    4. It sounds hollow when tapped

    A hollow sound means that there is a lot of water inside the watermelon. While youв've got the watermelon in your arms, make sure itв's uniformly shaped. Irregular bumps indicate that it may have gotten inconsistent amounts of sun or water.

    5. Turn it

    Turn your watermelon over and check out the bottom, which should have a creamy yellow spot. This is where the watermelon sat on the ground while it soaked up the sun at the farm. If this spot is white or greenish, your watermelon may have been picked too soon and might not be as ripe as it should be.

    Azerbaijanis do love watermelons! Here, in Azerbaijan, a summer day without a watermelon is not complete.

    There is even a local tradition of eating watermelon with local white cheese, with or without bread. The mouthwatering combination is in the dreams of Azerbaijanis year round and everyone rushes to buy watermelon as soon as summer arrives.
  • Turkey wants to become ASEAN member
    31.07.2015 19:23
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey wants to become a member of ASEAN, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to Indonesia, the Turkish TV channel TRT Haber said July 31.

    Erdogan stressed the importance of this organization for Turkey.

    ASEAN is a political, economic and cultural regional intergovernmental organization of countries located in the South-East Asia. It was established August 9, 1967 in Bangkok.

    On July 30, the Turkish president said during his visit to China that Ankara intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

    He said that after India and Pakistan decided to join the SCO, this structure has acquired special importance for Turkey.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • New cargo railway routes from China to Europe to open
    31.07.2015 19:07
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    New cargo railway routes from Xiamen (Fujian Province) in eastern China will open in August of this year that could expand economic cooperation between the members of "Economic Belt of Silk Road" and "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century" projects.

    The new cargo railway will significantly reduce transportation time between Xiamen and the countries of Europe and Central Asia.

    A cargo train on the Xiamen-Chengdu (Sichuan Province), Southwest China-Europe route will take no longer than 15 days to complete its journey and only five days on the Xiamen-Central Asia route. The routes will be open once a week.

    China is continuing to invest significantly into transport and energy infrastructures in Central Asia, proof of which can be the Atyrau-Alashankou oil pipeline and Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, demonstrating an active trade policy toward Central Asia.

    China emerged as a major economic player in Central Asia, driving billions into promoting Chinese-Central Asian trade. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, these investments reached $50 billion last year.

    The trade volume between Europe and China is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, as the necessary transport infrastructure is being created in Kazakhstan, which is an active part of the new Silk Road of China.

    At least 10 million tons of transit cargo and some $40 billion in foreign direct investment will go to Kazakhstan from the aforementioned transport infrastructure.

    The development of the transport and logistics potential between the member-countries of the Silk Road Project allows for the creation of thousands of high-skilled jobs.

    Recently, Beijing expressed its willingness to create six economic corridors to link Asia with Europe, including China-Mongolia-Russia; the New Euro-Asian land bridge; China-Central Asia-West Asia; China-Indochinese Peninsula; China-Pakistan; and China-Burma-Bangladesh-India, which are all part of the Silk Road Project, initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

    Funding from the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Foundation will contribute to the realization of this project.

    The notion of the Silk Road was reformulated and rephrased by China in 2013 under 'one belt, one roadв' initiative i.e. the economic belt along the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.

    Earlier, the AIIB said that the total investments for 'one belt, one roadв' plan amounted to over $890 billion for 900 projects in 60 countries.
  • New power plants under construction in Turkmenistan
    31.07.2015 18:50
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 31

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    It is planned to construct 14 gas-turbine thermal power plants with the total installed capacity of 3,854 megawatts in accordance with the concept for development of the power industry in the country through 2020, lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan' newspaper reported.

    Gas-turbine power plants with the capacity of around 149 megawatts each have been commissioned in Ahal, Mary and Lebap provinces, according to the newspaper.

    A gas-turbine plant with the capacity of 252.2 megawatts has been built in Ak Bugday district, while the construction of a power plant with the capacity of 504.4 megawatts is at the final stage in Derweze district of Ahal province.

    Moreover, the construction of a gas-turbine power plant with the capacity of 252.2 megawatts has started in Lebap province. Another thermal power plant with the capacity of nearly 400 megawatts will be constructed there in the coming years.

    This program envisages increasing the production level of electricity in Turkmenistan to 26.38 billion kilowatt hours by 2020.

    Currently, 11 power plants operate in the country, according to the newspaper.

    Three small gas-turbine power plants with the capacity of 149 megawatt each, as well as another one with the capacity of 252 megawatt were commissioned in Turkmenistan in 2014 alone.

    Edited by CN

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  • GM Uzbekistan starts production of Chevrolet Labo
    31.07.2015 18:23
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    GM Uzbekistan, an Uzbek-American joint venture, has started serial production of the Chevrolet Labo cars, the company reported on July 29.

    Chevrolet Labo is a mini-truck with a load capacity of 550 kilograms. It was created as a modification of already produced Damas minibus. The car is equipped with a three-cylinder engine of 0.8 liter with a capacity of 38 hp and five-speed manual transmission.

    This mini-truck with an open board body is designed for transportation in urban and rural areas for short distances.

    Production of the car is deployed at Khorezm Auto plant. The design capacity of the conveyor line is 5,000 cars per year. The cost of the project is $5.9 million.

    GM Uzbekistan JV, formerly known as UzDaewooAuto, was established in 1996 on a parity basis by Uzbekistan and South Korean Daewoo Motors.

    In 2005, Uzbekistan acquired Daewooв's shares in UzDaewooAuto. Then in 2007, Uzavtoprom and the U.S.-based General Motors signed an agreement to establish GM Uzbekistan with an authorized capital of $266.7 million.

    General Motors owns a 25 percent plus one stake in GM Uzbekistan with the possibility of increasing total shares to 40 percent. At the moment, 75 percent of the shares belong to the Uzavtoprom.

    Currently, GM Uzbekistan produces nine brands of cars, in particular sedans of Nexia, Cobalt, Lacetti and Malibu, two subcompact - Matiz and Spark, offroader - Captiva, minivan - Orlando, minibus - Damas and mini-truck Labo.

    GM Uzbekistan produced 119,412 cars in the first half of 2015. Last year the JV produced 245,600 cars, some 55,200 of which were exported to foreign markets.
  • Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal '" now itв's Israelв's turn Javad Zarif
    31.07.2015 18:09
    "If the Vienna deal is to mean anything, the whole of the Middle East must rid itself of weapons of mass destruction" - proposed Iran's Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in his article for Guardian July 31. Commenting the latest developments regarding the nuclear deal Foreign Minister wrote the following:

    "We - Iran and its interlocutors in the group of nations known as the P5 1 - have finally achieved the shared objective of turning the Iranian nuclear programme from an unnecessary crisis into a platform for cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and beyond. The nuclear deal reached in Vienna this month is not a ceiling but a solid foundation on which we must build. The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran's status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East.

    Iran's push for a ban on weapons of mass destruction in its regional neighbourhood has been consistent. The fact that it precedes Saddam Hussein's systematic use of WMDs against Iran (never reciprocated in kind) is evidence of the depth of my country's commitment to this noble cause. And while Iran has received the support of some of its Arab friends in this endeavour, Israel - home to the Middle East's only nuclear weapons programme - has been the holdout. In the light of the historic nuclear deal, we must address this challenge head on.

    One of the many ironies of history is that non-nuclear-weapon states, like Iran, have actually done far more for the cause of non-proliferation in practice than nuclear-weapon states have done on paper. Iran and other nuclear have-nots have genuinely "walked the walk" in seeking to consolidate the non-proliferation regime. Meanwhile, states actually possessing these destructive weapons have hardly even "talked the talk", while completely brushing off their disarmament obligations under the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and customary international law.

    That is to say nothing of countries outside the NPT, or Israel, with an undeclared nuclear arsenal and a declared disdain towards non-proliferation, notwithstanding its absurd and alarmist campaign against the Iranian nuclear deal.

    Today, in light of the Vienna deal, it is high time that the nuclear "haves" remedied the gap by adopting serious disarmament measures and reinforcing the non-proliferation regime.

    It is time for the "haves" to finally come to terms with a crucial reality; we live in a globalised security environment. The cold war era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don't is no longer remotely tolerable.

    For too long, it has been assumed that the insane concept of mutually assured destruction would sustain stability and non-proliferation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The prevalence of this deterrence doctrine in international relations has been the primary driving force behind the temptation by some countries to acquire nuclear weapons, and by others to engage in expanding and beefing up the strength of their nuclear arsenals. All this in blatant violation of the disarmament objectives set by the international community.

    It is imperative that we change this dangerous and erroneous security paradigm and move toward a better, safer and fairer arrangement. I sincerely believe that the nuclear agreement between my country - a non-nuclear-weapon state - and the P5 1 (which control almost all nuclear warheads on Earth) is symbolically significant enough to kickstart this paradigm shift and mark the beginning of a new era for the non-proliferation regime.

    One step in the right direction would be to start negotiations for a weapons elimination treaty, backed by a robust monitoring and compliance-verification mechanism.

    This could, in an initial phase, occasion the de-alerting of nuclear arsenals (removing warheads from delivery vehicles to reduce the risk of use) and subsequently engender the progressive disarmament by all countries possessing such WMDs. It is certainly a feasible goal to start this global project with a robust, universal and really genuine push to establish a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, if the relevant powers finally come to deem it not just a noble cause but a strategic imperative.

    Such a new treaty would revive and complement the NPT for nuclear "haves". It would codify disarmament obligations for nuclear-armed regimes that are not party to the NPT - but that are nonetheless bound - politically, by the international non-proliferation regime and, legally, by preemptory norms of customary international law to disarm.

    Iran, in its national capacity and as current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, is prepared to work with the international community to achieve these goals, knowing full well that, along the way, it will probably run into many hurdles raised by the sceptics of peace and diplomacy. But we must endeavour to convince and persist, as we did in Vienna."

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

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  • Foreign Ministry: Sterligovв's hiding proves criminal atmosphere in occupied territories
    31.07.2015 18:03
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Russian businessman German Sterligov and his Armenian patron lawyers are legally illiterate, Azerbaijani foreign ministryв's official representative Hikmet Hajiyev said.

    He made the remarks commenting on recent statements by Russian businessman regarding the fact that he has been put on the international wanted list by Azerbaijan.

    A decision was made by the Nasimi District Court to arrest Sterligov being that there is sufficient evidence to charge him, according to the message from Azerbaijani Prosecutor Generalв's Office released on July 28.

    ''German Sterligov and his Armenian patron lawyers have once again demonstrated their legal illiteracy. Given the elements of a crime in the actions committed by this person on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a criminal case was initiated under articles No 281.2 (public calls against the state) and 318.2 (illegally crossing state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, and Sterligov was put on the international wanted list with the election of a preventive measure in the form of arrest,'' Hajiyev told Trend.

    Sterligov and his family members illegally reside in Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia, putting him on Azerbaijanв's list of undesirable persons.

    The Russian businessman held a press conference in July 13 in Shusha and posted information on his social media page to support the "independence" of the separatist regime, thereby calling for the violation of Azerbaijanв's internationally-recognized territorial integrity as well as the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the occupied territories, money laundering etc.

    He also highlighted the fact that there is an occupation regime on the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia.

    ''The occupation of these territories by Armenia is clearly reflected in the documents adopted by international organizations, in particular in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and decision of the European Court of Human Rights in 'Chiragov and others v. Armenia,в''' he said.

    The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia's withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.

    Moreover, the ECHR reaffirmed Armeniaв's responsibility in the occupation of Azerbaijani territories. The court ruled in favor of the applicants, recognizing Armeniaв's continuing violations of their rights under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    Hajiyev said Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that conditions for the cultivation, production, transit and trade of narcotic drugs, training of terrorists, arms smuggling, kidnapping and other crimes were committed on the occupied territories of the country.

    ''It is possible that a large consignment of heroin detained a few days ago in Romania, was brought to this country through the occupied territories and Armenia. At present, this issue is under investigation,'' Hajiyev said.

    Azerbaijani officials have repeatedly said Azerbaijan's occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region has turned into a regional center of drug production and trafficking.

    ''The fact that Sterligov, accused in the specific criminal offenses, is hiding, proves once again that there is a criminal atmosphere on these areas,'' Hajiyev further added.

    Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal and individuals who pay such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's "black list."

    Azerbaijan has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats against unauthorized visits to territories under Armenian occupation, stating that such visits violate international law.

    Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian, and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.
  • Iran rejects talking with Taliban
    31.07.2015 17:46
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    Iran's ambassador to Afghanistan rejected rumors around Tehran-Taliban's talks, saying that Taliban doesn't have place in Iran's security strategies.

    Mohammad Reza Bahrami said that Iran never supports extremism, because it is uncontrollable.

    "Iran doesn't believe that the enemy of enemy is friend," IRNA quoted Bahrami as saying July 31.

    Bahrami's statement came after Esmail Kowsari, a member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, confirmed on June 7 that a delegation from the Afghan Taliban group has visited Iran in May.

    The delegation, which visited Tehran, belongs to a branch of Taliban who believe on settling issues through "negotiation," the senior Iranian MP said.

    Earlier, Marzieh Afkham, the foreign ministry's spokeswoman said that the ministry has not been informed about the visit of the delegation.

    "We have no information on the issue," Afkham said, adding the sources that have disseminated the information should be found.

    Kowsari further said he can't disclose the details of Iran's negotiations with the Taliban delegation headed by Tayyab Agha, who is in charge of the Taliban's political bureau in Qatar, Iran's YJC news agency reported.

    "They expressed readiness for negotiations and traveled to Tehran for talks," said Kowsari.

    They were not from the "hardliner" Taliban, said the Iranian MP underlining that Iran will never accept extremist Taliban members.

    "Iran welcomes those who want to resolve the issues via dialogue and negotiate with them to solve the regional problems," Kowsari added.

    Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that the Taliban's delegation traveled to Iran in mid-May to hold talks with the Islamic Republic security officials.

    The Taliban's delegation and the Iranian security officials discussed regional issues, in particular the recent developments in the Islamic world, as well as the situation of Afghan migrants, according to the report.

    Similar Taliban delegations visited Iran twice in the past to hold talks with Iran's security officials and to participate in an international conference.

    The Taliban emerged in early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of former Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan. They were in power in Afghanistan from mid-1990s until 2001.

    The hard-liner group has in recent years carried out numerous high-profile attacks on Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Taliban announced earlier that it established a political bureau in Qatar to stay in touch with the other countries.

    Edited by CN

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  • Russia says Turkeyв's Botas can get gas discount
    31.07.2015 17:44
    Russia's Gazprom and Turkey's Botas have an agreement on providing the Turkish side with a 10.25-percent discount for Russian gas, the Energy Minister of Russia Alexander Novak told reporters July 31, according to the RIA Novosti.

    "According to the information I have, discount agreements have been reached by Gazprom and Botas," he said answering a question whether there are differences between the companies on the size of the Russian gas discounts.

    "As of today, it [the discount] stands at 10.25 percent in line with the agreements discussed earlier," said Novak.

    He added that the document for granting the discount hasn't yet been signed.

    Russia and Turkey were to sign an intergovernmental agreement until mid-2015 for the construction of the lsquo;Turkish Stream' gas pipeline, but this hasn't still happened.

    Edited by SI

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  • Azerbaijan, Iran to implement joint projects in alternative energy sector
    31.07.2015 17:43
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan and Iran have established a working group to implement joint projects in the alternative energy sector.

    Jamil Melikov, the deputy head of Azerbaijanв's State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, toldВ TrendВ on July 30 that the working group was established as part of a memorandum signed with the energy ministry of Iran.

    ''The working group will engage in organizational matters,'' Melikov said. ''It will offer various projects and discuss bringing investors, specialists from both sides, give recommendations so that through our joint efforts we can implement projects in Azerbaijan and Iran.''

    He went on to add that the abovementioned memorandum also provides for a mutual exchange of information on current and future projects in each of the two countries. ''Currently we are discussing organizational matters: the time and venue for the first meeting, and also the working groupв's activity plan."

    Melikov also noted that during an Azerbaijani delegationв's visit to Iran on August 3-4, the two sides expect to discuss acceleration of the working groupв's activities and settle bureaucratic nuances.

    The deputy head of the agency said that cooperation with Iran covers a wide range of activities.

    "We are very interested in the exchange of technical data, in particular in the hydropower and geothermal energy sectors. The projects, in which we plan to take part, are associated with the global energy system, the so-called transmission lines and substations, the voltage level used for transmission. We will also offer small projects to the Iranian side. This is the "one house - one power station" project." We have already had some experience and will try to implement it in Iran," Melikov concluded.

    The development of alternative energy is of significant importance for Azerbaijan and therefore the government seeks to introduce modern technology and involve foreign investors in its renewables sector.

    Azerbaijan enjoys great prospects in this field. Thanks to natural conditions, the total potential of alternative and renewable energy resources in Azerbaijan exceeds 12,000 megawatts.

    The State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan has said that the country produced 5.2 million kilowatt/hours of electricity from alternative resources from January to June 2015.

    In 2014, investments in the development of Azerbaijan's alternative energy sector reached 63.6 million manats ($60.6 million).

    Recently, the Turkish Turcas Enerji Holding and Azalternativenerji under Azerbaijan's State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the renewables sector.

    According to the document, the sides will jointly invest in the construction of solar, wind, and geothermal power plants in Turkey and Azerbaijan, along with implementing other projects. The contract is valid for a period of three years from the date of signing.

    Azerbaijanв's State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy and the Georgian Energy Ministry will establish a joint working group in the field of alternative energy as well.

    It is expected that the increase of alternative energy capacity will reduce the use of hydrocarbons in the oil-producing country, making it possible to redirect them to overseas markets and increase Azerbaijanв's export potential and revenues.
  • Turkish authorities to make last attempt to form govв't with opposition party
    31.07.2015 17:43
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey's Justice and Development Party will make the last attempt to form a coalition government with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Anadolu agency reported July 31 citing the country's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir.

    If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Republican People's Party (CHP) fail to agree on forming a coalition government, AKP will turn to the Nationalist Movement Party for the last time, he said.

    Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that with each passing day, there remains less and less chance to form a coalition government in Turkey. Erdogan also said holding of snap parliamentary election in Turkey is not ruled out.

    Meanwhile, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said that of all the parties having a right to be represented in the country's parliament, the People's Republican Party (CHP) is closer to creation of a coalition government.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was earlier reported to say that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) refused to form a coalition government in Turkey.

    Previously, in June, the People's Republican Party (CHP) put forward terms for formation of a coalition government with the country's ruling Justice and Development Party.

    Under those terms, the CHP leader should head Turkey's government for two years. Moreover, under the terms, the Turkish parliament was to be led by one of the CHP members.

    The opposition was also demanding to appoint the parliament members representing the CHP as the ministers of justice, interior and education.

    Turkey held parliamentary election June 7, which involved 20 political parties.

    Over 53 million people cast their votes in the election.

    During the parliamentary election, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party garnered 40.9 percent of the vote, while the People's Republican Party (CHP) gained 25 percent. Aside from that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) got 16.3 percent, and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) garnered 13.1 percent of the vote.

    A coalition government should be formed in Turkey within 45 days after the announcement of the election results.

    Edited by SI


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  • Investing in Iran gas sector as attractive as oil
    31.07.2015 17:30
    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    When we talk about the importance of Iran in global energy security, its oil export is featured most often, but the volume and value of Iranian gas is even more than oil.

    Iran ranks forth in term of its 158 billion barrels of oil reserves, but first in term of 34 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, which equals 240 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

    Iran produces 180 billion cubic meters of gas per annum (bcm/a), while it's oil output capacity is about one billion barrels.

    Domestically, Iran consumes 175 bcm/a of refined gas, which shares 67 percent of the country's total primary energy usage, while the figure for the consumed 600 million barrels of crude oil is about 25 percent.

    Iran planned to double gas output to 1.2 bcm per day (bcm/d) by 2018. Though this plan is so ambitious to be realized in the mentioned time, it doesn't undermine the perspective of country's upstream gas sector.

    Currently, Iran still faces a gas shortage despite a 100-mcm/d increase in production level in 2014. Iran planed to up its gas output as much as last year in 2015. Ignoring Iran's annual gas consumption growth, the country needs more 20 bcm/a of gas delivery to power plants to stop liquid fuel consumption in this sector. Iran also needs to double gas re-injection to 60 bcm.

    The Islamic Republic also planned to attract $70 billion investment in the next 10 years to increase petrochemical products output by 2.3 times to 100 million tons per annum.

    However, regarding Iran's abundant gas reserves which shares 18 percent of global conventional gas reserves and giant undeveloped or semi-developed gas fields like South Pars, Kish, North Pars, Farzad B, etc, the perspective of this sector is very bright.

    Importance of Iranian gas for Europeans

    European Union has put about $250 billion direct investment abroad in 2014, while the total amount of global foreign direct investment was about $1.6 billion.

    While European delegations from Germany visited Iran and delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties, Iran hopes to attract tens of billion dollars in oil and gas sector.

    Iran has also defined a long-term (20-25 years) new model contract that it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC) to replace the old, less popular buyback agreements to attract foreign companies. However, it's not clear whether IPC could compete with production sharing agreements (PSA) that is popular with companies, but is banned in Iran.

    Besides Iran's own interests, the EU also needs Iranian gas to diversify its gas import routes.

    Iran can deliver more 2 bcm/a of gas to Turkey through the current infrastructures by adding a gas compressor station joined to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), but this amount is very low. For significant amount of gas, Iran needs to realize the 1,850 km 9th cross-country pipeline project with capacity of transiting 30 bcm/a of South Pars's gas to Turkey borders joined to TANAP or a new pipeline project.

    However, Iran needs $6 billion investment to realize 9th cross-country pipeline. Currently Iran only exports 9.7 bcm/a of gas to Turkey. The other choice is building LNG plants.

    A glance at Iran's LNG projects

    In the fourth 5-Year National Develop Plan (2005-2009), Iran had aimed to produce 70 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the South Pars, North Pars, Ferdosi and Golshan gas fields by launching six LNG production facilities.

    After canceling Iran's LNG project contracts with French Total, Spanish Repsol, Dutch-British Shell and Malaysian Petronas, Iran practically lost almost all opportunities in the LNG industry until in 2008 when the country signed a contract worth $25 billion to develop its gas fields and produce LNG with the Chinese SINOPEC group, Chinese CEPA, Polish state-owned gas company (PGNiG) and Malaysian Petrofield LNG Co.

    The value of Iran's contracts with PGNiG and Petrofield were respectively about $2 billion and $14-16 billion.

    Iran also had a contract with Linde AG to build a giant LNG plant, but Linde refused to supply needed equipments due to sanctions. All of projects were canceled until 2012, even those which Iran signed with Chinese companies.

    Resuming LNG projects

    Iran announced in May that it resumed talks with Linde AG to restart developing the Iran LNG project. The capital investment needed for the Iran LNG plant was estimated at $5 billion and the facility would start its early production if half that sum were provided.

    This plant's capacity is projected to be 10.5 million metric tons per year of LNG production, earning the country more than $7 billion annually.

    Iran also can export a restricted amount of gas to the EU by floating LNG ships.

    FLNG ships take natural gas in offshore and the gas is chilled to -162deg;C, shrinking in volume 600 times, and then is transported to market.

    Edited by CN

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

    Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

  • Earthquake rocks central Iran
    31.07.2015 17:13
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    An earthquake 5.5 degrees on the Richter scale has hit the central Iranian province of Kerman.

    The seismic movement took place at 14:56 local time at the depth of 8 kilometers in Sirach district, ISNA news agency reported July 31.

    Salehi, director of the provincial Crisis Management Staff, said while there is yet no report of any casualties, search and rescue teams are dispatched to inspect the area.

    He predicted that due to the magnitude and low depth of the quake, there must be some damage caused by the earthquake.

    Kamal Javanmard, a member of the city council of Kerman (capital of Kerman Province) said life in the city is normal.

    The earthquake hit 13 villages but teams dispatched to the area say there is no damage to three of the villages visited so far, Kamal Javanmard, a local rescue and relief official said.

    Edited by CN

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkmenistan to increase electricity export
    31.07.2015 17:06
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 31

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Turkmenistan will increase electricity export to 6.9 billion kilowatt hours by 2020, lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan' newspaper reported.

    Preparatory work is underway in the country to construct high-voltage overhead power transmission lines of 400 kilovolt such as Balkanabat-Aliabad (Iran) and Mary-Mashhad (Iran), according to the newspaper.

    "Commissioning of these lines will allow to increase the electricity export to Iran which will lead to growth of foreign exchange earnings of the state treasury," said the newspaper.

    Moreover, the construction of a high-voltage (500 kilovolt) power transmission line from Mary to Atamyrat is at the final state, according to the report. This line is being constructed by Turkish Lotus Energy company.

    It was earlier reported that Turkmenistan exports over 2.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to neighboring countries per year. This figure accounts for around 15 percent of the total volume of electricity production in the country.

    Currently, work is underway to expand its export towards Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. Moreover, the opportunities for transporting electricity to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Caucasian countries are being studied.

    Turkmenistan plans to increase the electricity production to 27.4 billion kilowatt hours by 2020 and bring it to 35.5 billion kilowatt hours by 2030.

    Edited by SI

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Second passenger train attacked in eastern Turkey
    31.07.2015 17:02
    A second passenger train was attacked in the early hours of Friday morning following a similar attack a day earlier, police said.

    The service, which runs between Iran and Turkey, was hit by a blast from a remotely detonated landmine just after midnight, in an attack blamed on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, a local gendarme official said on condition of anonymity. The PKK is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and U.S.

    The driver was slightly injured as the train approached Kecikayasi, a village in Turkey's Van province close to the Iranian border.

    Passengers, including Iranian tourists, continued their journey to Van, by bus.

    Hours earlier, the Trans-Asian rail service from Ankara to Tehran was targeted in a similar mine attack. There were no casualties and the train was able to continue.

    Also on Thursday, a German-made land mine was discovered aboard another train in eastern Turkey.
  • Azerbaijan not impressed by car opportunities of Iran
    31.07.2015 16:37
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The markets in Iran are changing rapidly and neighboring friendly country Azerbaijan has been watching these changes closely.

    The lifting of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, the United States, and the European Union, earlier on Iran, raises questions on the consequences for the world economy and international economic relations.

    To date, German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz plans to buy 30 percent of the Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing Company based in Tabriz.

    Iran and Mercedes-Benz will also sign an agreement for a period of 10 years for the production of trucks and buses in Iran, Iran Khodro Managing Director Hashem Yeke Zare told Trend. No wonder, since before Western sanctions, Mercedes-Benz had been a major partner for Iran.

    Moreover, Mercedes-Benz intends to acquire a 50 percent stake in the Iranian car manufacturer Setar-Iran and sign a five-year agreement on the production of passenger sedans.

    Following Mercedes-Benz, the German automotive concern Volkswagen could also become a reliable partner for Iran. German Daimler AG, a producer of luxury cars, could also sign an agreement with Iran Khodro in the next three-four months, Zare said.

    The French Peugeot intends to establish a joint venture with Iran to produce cars, 30 percent of which will be exported, he added. Major automakers like the French Renault and the Japanese Suzuki also expressed willingness to return to Iran.

    This situation will inevitably impact the car market of neighboring Azerbaijan, which switched to the Euro 4 ecological standard in April 2014.

    The Euro 4 standard forbids the import of cars manufactured prior to 2005 from the EU, 2004 in the U.S., 2011 in China and Japan, 2006 in Korea, and 2009 in Turkey.

    Azerbaijan with a population of 9.6 million is now saturated with over 1.2 million cars, and in 10 years, the number of cars is expected to reach 3 million. Such a large number of vehicles negatively affect the environment, which is why Azerbaijan switched to Euro 4 bypassing the Euro 3 standard.

    Today, only newly produced cars can be imported to Azerbaijan, which decreased its total imports by about 40 percent in 2014.

    This year, so far 17,640 cars were imported in Azerbaijan; that figure was 34,359 for the first half of last year. The number speaks for itself, showing the efficiency of the Euro 4 standard.

    Thus those in Azerbaijan with concerns over older cars being imported from Iran need not worry. According to the Euro 4 standard, Azerbaijan can import cars from Iran produced no later than 2009.

    Azerbaijani car market not thrilled by the news

    Expert economist Oktay Hagverdiyev told AzerNews that the situation could affect Azerbaijan, but only slightly, as cooperation between two countries is mainly focused on energy.

    ''Azerbaijan did not buy cars from Iran. Even if Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen start manufacture in Iran, Azerbaijanis will prefer cars produced in Russia, for instance,'' he believes.

    Hagverdiyev went on to explain, ''All these companies were presented in Iran before, but it was not observed obviously, the production was aimed at the internal market of Iran.''

    ''Now companies are thinking before returning to the Iranian market, which can be filled in a year or two, and then the production will fall sharply, and a loss of investment is evident,'' he added.

    Customers in Azerbaijan are quite scrupulous in choosing a car, its quality and country of manufacture, especially when it comes to expensive models.

    As new production in Iran is not expected to change the car market, the obvious change in price is also not an issue.

    Azerbaijan imports cars mostly from Georgia, however, after the transition to Euro 4, imports declined. Some 2,207 cars worth $41.4 million were exported from Georgia to Azerbaijan in January-June 2015. This is 5.4 times less than in the same period of 2014, the Georgian National Statistics Service said.

    Iran seeks to produce cars in Azerbaijan

    In the meantime, Iran plans to produce its cars in Azerbaijan. Iran Khodro is negotiating with the Azerbaijani side to build a car assembly plant in Azerbaijan, IKCO Managing Director Hashem Yeke Zare told Trend.

    The plant will be built using an Azerbaijani businessmanв's investments, and the production will start roughly two years after obtaining the license.

    Today, Iran Khodro exports cars to Azerbaijan and Zare claims that Iran plans to export 2,000 cars to Azerbaijan this year.

    The company also plans to manufacture 10,000 cars per year in Azerbaijan, which will be exported.

    Currently, two plants manufacturing vehicles '" Nakhchivan and Ganja automobile plants '" operate in Azerbaijan.

    Overall, last year was marked by a decrease in car imports and a car production increase in Azerbaijan.

    At present, it seems that Iranian car production in Azerbaijan may be more effective to the economy of our country, while car production in Iran is not expected to affect the car market of Azerbaijan.
  • OPEC secretary generalв's statements overly optimistic, says expert
    31.07.2015 16:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    The statements by Secretary General of OPEC Abdalla Salem el-Badri about forthcoming stabilization of oil prices are overly optimistic, Arthur Berman, well-known US geological consultant told Trend.

    Earlier, Abdalla Salem el-Badri said the oil prices will get no lower, as demand is surging and production going down.

    "Prices will stabilize in 2016. We expect stability on the oil market over the long term."

    "His comments focus on demand growth that I do not see in the data so far except possibly in the United States," said Berman.

    The expert added that the latest Oil Market Report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) sees decreased demand growth on the horizon.

    IEA July 2015 Oil Market Report said that world oil demand growth appears to have peaked in Q1 2015 at 1.8 million barrels per day and will continue to ease throughout the rest of this year and into next, as temporary support fades, according to Berman.

    Low oil price alone will not result in meaningful oil demand growth without sound economic growth, the expert added.

    "I believe that el-Badri's optimism comes from OPEC's view that global economic growth in 2016 will be significantly higher than in 2015 which, by OPEC's own assessment, is lower than in their previous forecasts," said Berman.

    "I see many disturbing signals, however, for economic growth particularly in China, Japan and Europe including Russia," he added.

    The US expert said that el-Badri does not address the principal problem causing low oil prices, namely over-production.

    "Much of the world's over-production is currently coming from OPEC," said Berman. "So, perhaps he [el-Badri] foresees a coordinated OPEC and Russia production cut that might bring supply into better balance with demand some time in 2016 or even in late 2015."

    He said this makes some sense because Saudi Arabia is spending its capital reserve accounts quickly and Russia's economic contraction is serious, and both problems are largely because of low oil prices.

    "I don't know what OPEC means by a stable oil price but my guess is that approximately $65 for Brent and $60 for WTI is about right to promote its objectives of regaining market share, getting some relief from negative cash flow and, at the same time, keeping prices below the threshold for expensive competition from deep water oil, oil sands and all but the best tight oil production," said Berman.

    The US expert said that OPEC has considerable control over oil prices despite the popular misconception that they no longer do.

    A big part of the reason for persistent low oil prices today is that in June 2015, OPEC produced about 1.9 million barrels of oil per day more than in January 2014, according to Berman.

    "That is almost exactly the amount of the production surplus in the world today."

    If OPEC and Russia cut 2 million barrels per day, oil prices would increase greatly because that would bring supply and demand largely into balance, he said.

    "If the current situation of a global production surplus and weak oil demand growth continues, it would not surprise me if Brent oil prices dropped below $50 per barrel again as they did in January," said Berman.

    Some people believe that they could fall even lower and they could if the overall world economic outlook worsens, according to the geological consultant.

    On the other hand, prices could rise because of political conflicts that interrupt the supply of oil but no one can predict that, he added.

    Furthermore, Berman said that in the long term, oil prices will rise because global demand will continue to increase even if the rate of growth is slower than in the past.

    "That is what el-Badri is really talking about," he said.

    Also, even Saudi Arabia needs quite a bit more than $65 per barrel to balance their budget, he said.

    "I doubt that prices will go back to $100 per barrel for a few years nor do I think OPEC will allow that until they have achieved their goals of increasing both their market share and overall oil demand growth in the world," Berman added.


    Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan claims 16 medals at LA 2015
    31.07.2015 16:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31


    Azerbaijani athletes have already won 16 medals at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, said Shahin Aliyev, the chairman of Azerbaijan's Special Olympics Committee, according to a message from Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles.

    Aliyev, who is also heading Azerbaijan's delegation at the LA 2015, speaking at a meeting at the Consulate General in Los Angeles, said Azerbaijani athletes grabbed eight gold, six silver and two bronze medals.

    He said the athletes, for their success, owe it to the all-round support provided by Azerbaijan's president to the development of sports.

    Azerbaijan's Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev, opening the event, said the LA 2015 is one of the largest sporting events held in 2015 in the world.

    He underscored the importance of Azerbaijan's participation in these prestigious competitions.

    Aghayev added that from the first days of the competition, Azerbaijani athletes had high results, and this is another evidence of the care provided by the Azerbaijani state to the development of sports.

    Jimmy Delshad, the former mayor of Beverly Hills, said addressing the event that Azerbaijan has distinctive features that can serve as a model to the whole world.

    He stressed that the people of various religions and nationalities are living in Azerbaijan in mutual respect and peace.

    During the event, the guests also watched the videos of the Baku 2015 European Games.

    Edited by SI

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Armenia birth rate decreases
    31.07.2015 16:33
    The birth rate in Armenia has dropped in the current year, as compared to the previous year.

    Head of the Census and Demography Division at the National Statistical Service, Karine Kuyumjyan, noted the above-said at a press conference on Friday, reports.

    "A drop in natural growth was recorded in several provinces if the republic," said Kuyumjyan. "Births were fewer than the cases of deaths."

    According to official data, the number of births in Armenia was 18,719 in the first six months 2015, and this is a 2.8-percent drop, as compared to the same period last year.
  • Rising trade turnover important factor to develop Uzbek-Indonesian ties
    31.07.2015 16:23
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    The expansion of trade turnover is an important factor for the development of bilateral relations between Indonesia and Uzbekistan.

    This was announced by Indonesian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Anak Agung Gde Alita Santiku at a meeting with journalists, Uzbek media reported on July 30.

    He said that currently, investing in infrastructure designed to connect the eastern and western parts of Indonesia and the construction of a port is a priority for the development of the country.

    The ambassador noted the similarity of the two countries in this regard, as Uzbekistan is also actively implementing infrastructure projects. He also said that there is great prospect to develop trade relations between Indonesia and Uzbekistan.

    "There are several products that interests Indonesia, and those which interests Uzbekistan. For example, Indonesia produces textile products while Uzbekistan has cotton. There is a very large production of agricultural goods in Indonesia, including coffee and tea. And everybody knows that all in Uzbekistan like drinking tea," he noted.

    The envoy also stressed the huge tourism prospects of the two countries. The ambassador believes that there is a real opportunity to significantly increase the flow of tourists from Uzbekistan to Indonesia and vice versa.

    He said that an intensive exchange of visits, including tourism visits, plays an important role in strengthening bilateral relations.

    Indonesia recognized independence of Uzbekistan on December 28, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on June 23, 1992.

    At present, the relations are governed by more than 20 bilateral intergovernmental documents. The basic principles of the Uzbek-Indonesian relations were fixed in the Joint Statement (1992) and the Joint Declaration on the Principles of Relations and Cooperation (1995).
  • Ahmet Davutoglu: Operations to continue until armed groups leave Turkey
    31.07.2015 16:16
    ''No one should be indulged in an unreal dream"

    Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has stated that the ongoing operations against the PKK and ISIL will continue until the armed groups leave Turkey, according to Turkey's Milliyyet newspaper, APA reported.

    "The operations in Syria will go on until the arms are laid down, the armed groups leave Turkey, and the threat posed by ISIL is eliminated. No one should be indulged in an unreal dream," said the prime minister.

    Note that, the United States has urged Turkey to slow down the operations against the PKK and ISIL. White House representative Eric Schultz has asked Turkey to reduce pressure and carry on a peaceful solution.
  • Iranian companies excluded from UK Treasury's sanctions list
    31.07.2015 16:10
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Following the Vienna nuclear deal, several Iranian companies that were under the international ban have been lifted from the list of sanctioned entities.

    The United Kingdom removed two Iranian companies operating in the oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors from its list of entities subject to asset freezes, Press TV reported.

    The UK Treasury said on July 30 that it had taken Petropars Aria Kish Operation and Management and Petropars Resources Engineering Kish off its sanctions list.

    The decision came after the two companies successfully applied to have their sanctions listings annulled before the General Court of the EU in May.

    The companies had argued that the council had made an error of assessment in deciding that they had provided support to the Iranian government to avoid sanctions.

    The General Court of the EU, however, in its May ruling dismissed the applications by Petropars Iran Co. (PPI) and Petropars Oilfields Services Co. (POSCO) to annul the sanctions listings

    The tribunal argued that the two companies were entirely owned by Petropars Ltd (PPL), which had allegedly helped the Iranian government circumvent sanctions.

    Petropars has been developing phases 12 and 19 of South Pars gas field.

    Petropars Ltd had a minority stake in POMC and PRE where other shareholders had no interest in assisting the government, the General Court of the EU had said in its argument.

    ''Therefore the Court annulled the sanctions listing of POMC and PRE but not PPI or POSCO,'' it added.

    Hundreds of Iranian individuals and organizations came under sanctions by the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States, which included financial penalties.

    This punishment, meted out in stages since 2005, has been the worldв's main response to Iranв's efforts to develop long-range missiles and the ability to arm them with nuclear warheads. Most of the Iranian entities punished are linked to these efforts.

    The punishment has largely meant freezing the assets of the entities and prohibiting virtually all transactions with them.
  • Spanish museum opens exposition for the blind
    31.07.2015 16:04
    Spain's famous Prado Museum, located in Madrid, launched its first exhibition for the blind, where famous artwork is being displayed in three dimensions, according to Pangea Today.

    The museum recreated works by Da Vinci, Valazquez, Goya, el Greco, and more, in the form of paint replicas adding texture and volume, so the visually impaired visitors can feel the art pieces. The museum has also provided provisions for guide dogs and audio-guides.

    "This exhibition is great," emotional JosГ© Pedro Gonzalez said. "Until now, the only way for the blind to access a painting was through the explanations from another person."

    Due to the success of the current exhibit, the Spanish gallery will expand the initiative to other museums in the country.

    /By AzerTac/
  • Iran top nuclear official says no need to ratify nuclear agreement
    31.07.2015 15:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    The head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) underlined that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by Iran and P5 1 on July 14 is not an international agreement to be ratified in Parliament.

    Ali Akbar Salehi the head of AEOI said on July 31 that this entity has translated the technical part of JCPOA (which originally has been written in English based on comprehensive nuclear agreement) and the Foreign Ministry has translated the other parts, then the text was sent to Parliament in Persian to be recognized by lawmakers, but it doesn't mean that parliament would ratify it.

    Salehi's statement came while some hardliner members of parliament accused the Hassan Rouhani's administration of censoring some parts of the JCPOA during the translation process. They also want to ratify the nuclear agreement like the U.S. Congress will.

    The remarks came as Iran and the Group P5 1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) reached a nuclear deal on July 14 and to pave the way to the restrictions be removed next year if the deal is approved by the U.S. Congress and the International Atomic Energy's inspectors confirm that Iran is in compliance with the limits to its nuclear activities.

    Edited by CN

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  • Cooperation with SCO to create new opportunities for Azerbaijan
    31.07.2015 15:54
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan's cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will create new opportunities for the country, Hikmet Hajiyev, the spokesman for Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said on July 30.

    "Azerbaijanв's foreign policy is multi-vector, and in this respect the country is further expanding cooperation on bilateral and multilateral bases," he noted.

    Hajiyev also noted that in this context, it is possible to highlight Azerbaijanв's observer status in the Arab League, African Union, Organization of American States, and other regional and international organizations, which creates even greater opportunities for the country to develop relations with multilateral organizations and their member states.

    The heads of the SCO member states signed documents providing Azerbaijan with the status of SCO dialogue partner at an expanded meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State held in Ufa, Russia on July 10.

    "Azerbaijanв's relations with the SCO should be considered through the prism of mechanisms of cooperation with other regional organizations, in which the country doesnв't have a membership," he added.

    The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental organization founded on June 15, 2001 by the leaders of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

    Experts believe that Azerbaijan's membership to SCO is beneficial for the country. Being one of the newest dialogue partners to the SCO, Azerbaijan will take advantage of its position to strengthen the economic, trade, and political ties with the organization that represents a significant majority of the Eurasian territories.

    All SCO member countries will have an opportunity to learn from the best practices of Azerbaijan, which has invested so much of its own resources in connecting Europe and Asia by developing regional projects in the energy, agriculture, logistics infrastructure, and public transportation sectors.

    Azerbaijan can also play a significant role in the development of relations '" particularly in expanding the transportation corridor '" between the SCO and the EU countries via Central Asia and Turkey. It is also expected that Azerbaijan's membership in the SCO would give the country more opportunities to interact with China and Central Asian countries much more closely.
  • Azerbaijan searching for traces of 40-million heroine in Karabakh
    31.07.2015 15:43
    Azerbaijan investigates whether a large amount of heroin seized in Romania was delivered to the country via Nagorno-Karabakh.

    Spokesman for Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev made the remarks, APA reports.

    "Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that the territories occupied by Armenia are fertile territory for any kind of serious criminal offenses like production, transit and trade of drugs, training of terrorists, arms smuggling and kidnapping. It is not excluded that a large amount of heroin seized in Romania was delivered via occupied territories and Armenia," he said.

    333 kilograms of heroin was seized in Romania. Heroin with a street value of 40 million euros was supposedly delivered to Romania via Azerbaijan-Armenia-Georgia-Ukraine route.

    The State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan stated that the heroin didn't pass through Azerbaijan.
  • Azerbaijani Defense Minister to visit Moscow
    31.07.2015 15:31
    During the visit, Zakir Hasanov will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu

    Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov will visit Moscow.

    APA's Moscow correspondent reports that the minister will attend the opening ceremony of International Army Games 2015 to be held on August 1-15 at a landfill in Moscow.

    The Russian Defense Ministry told APA's Moscow correspondent that during his visit, Z.Hasanbov will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

    The First International Army Games 2015 will be attended by 57 teams from 17 countries, 20 monitoring groups from 6 foreign countries, as well as representatives from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin American countries. The program of the Games includes 14 desert, air and marine competitions.

    Two competitions of the International Army Games will be organized by the Navy. Armored personnel carriers of the naval forces will take part in the competition called "Caspian derby". Along with Russia, teams of Kazakhstan and China will compete in the competition as well. The competitions will be held in the Caspian Sea. The combat readiness of military ships' crew on performing artillery fire shootings will be checked. Seamen from Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will compete in the games. Both competitions will be held in Kaspiysk, Dagestan.
  • Police officer murdered in Russia's North Caucasus Nalchik
    31.07.2015 15:31
    A senior police officer has been murdered in the capital of Russiaв's North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

    The assassination was organized in the house where the chief of staff of the Interior Ministry department of Cherek District lived. A special plan to search and detain the perpetrators has been put into operation, the press service of the republican Interior Ministry said, ITAR TASS reports.

    "Today, at approximately 03:30 Moscow Time (00:00 GMT) two unidentified persons broke into a private house of the chief of staff of the Interior Ministry department of Cherek District in the city of Nalchik. The assaulters fired several shots from firearms, which resulted in the death of the police officer," the Interior Ministry said. Criminal proceedings have been initiated.

    A week ago, a special operation was held in Nalchik to eliminate an armed gang, which planned the murders of public officers during the celebrations to mark Republic Day in Kabardino-Balkaria on September 1. During the operation six gunmen were wiped out, and a big bomb-making laboratory and a large number of firearms and ammunition were discovered.

    "It's been established that the criminals planned to conduct headline-making acts of sabotage and terrorist attacks, including the murders of public officers during the celebrations dedicated to Republic Day," the Information Center of Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) told TASS back then.

    The committee noted that the gunmen had committed a series of terrorist crimes between 2013 and 2015, including murders and attempted assassinations of law enforcement officers.
  • U.S. State Department: Iran to have very real consequences for violation of nuclear deal - INTERVIEW
    31.07.2015 15:24
    By Sara Rajabova, AZERNEWS

    U.S. State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs' spokesperson Sam Werberg's exclusive interview to AzerNews newspaper

    Question: How would the nuclear deal with Iran impact the Middle East's political scene?

    Answer: We are not trying to predict the internal dynamics in Iran or the Middle East. Ideally, we would see a situation in which Iran, seeing sanctions reduced, would start focusing on its economy, on training its people, on reentering the world community, and to lessening its provocative activities in the region.

    But our goal is to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon and thereby trigger a nuclear arms race in the most volatile part of the world. In fact, the deal is most important if indeed the regime stays hostile to the West and Israel because it constrains Iran's nuclear program for over a decade.

    There are different trends inside of Iran. There are hard-liners that think it is right to oppose us, to seek to destroy Israel, to cause havoc in places like Syria or Yemen or Lebanon. And there are others inside Iran who think that this is counterproductive. And it is possible that if we sign this nuclear deal, we strengthen the hand of those more moderate forces inside of Iran.

    But the key point is, the deal is not dependent on anticipating those changes. If they don't change at all, we're still better off having the deal.

    Q.: Could Iran be a partner in combating terrorism? Is there any room for Washington's cooperation with Tehran in fight against ISIS?

    A.: This agreement isn't about a change in the broader U.S. relationship with Iran. It's about the eliminating the biggest and most imminent threat - a nuclear-armed Iran. But, if Iran complies with its commitments in this deal, it could be a step in the right direction to begin addressing the other very serious concerns we have about Iran's behavior.

    Q.: What about the trade ties with Iran? Are American companies allowed to launch talks with Iranian side or they should wait for complete removal of the sanctions on Tehran?

    A.: U.S. companies will continue to be prohibited from participating in the majority of commercial activities with Iran. However, we have agreed to license certain activities with U.S. persons. These include the sale of U.S. origin aircraft, parts and services for civil aviation end uses to Iran as well as the import of Iranian carpets and other Iranian foodstuffs. Lastly, we have agreed to license the expansion of activities that can be conducted by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies. Lastly, as has always been the case, there are exceptions for certain humanitarian exports of food, medicine, and medical devices.

    Q.: What will be the consequences, if Iran deal is failed to be implemented?

    A.: If the United States Congress says no to this, the sanctions are gone, our inspections are gone, our knowledge of what Iran is doing will be gone, our support from the international community for further sanctions will be gone, and we would have no recourse. If we wanted to take action, we will have lost the global community.

    If Iran violates the deal, all of the sanctions will snap back into place. So there is a very clear incentive for Iran to follow through, and there are very real consequences for a violation.

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  • Armenian protesters still hopeful
    31.07.2015 15:17
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Protests against the electricity tariff price hike have not subsided, but are growing in strength day by day.

    Armenian publicв's desire to improve '" or at minimum prevent a worsening of '" their already difficult financial situation has not yielded results. However, citizens continue to press for their rights granted the country's constitution.

    Meanwhile, Yerevan police barred the members of the "Get up, Armenia" initiative from conducting a sit-in on the stairs in front of a government building on July 30.

    Police led away the activists, stating that they did not have permission to sit in front of the building and that the demonstration was illegal. On the contrary, members of the movement are blaming police for illegal actions committed againstВ them.

    Police action, however, has not destroyed the protestersв' enthusiasm; they have so far spent 3 nights in the Republic Square.

    Dozens of "Get up, Armenia" members, demanding the abolition of the decision to raise the electricity tariff, held an ''awareness'' march in the center of Yerevan on July 31.

    The protesters marched down Amiryan Street to Mashtots Avenue after turning on Tumanyan Street, then proceeded to return to Republic Square. They chanted "Join us," "No electricity price rise," and "We are the owners of our country."

    In an interview with an Armenian news portal, one of the protesters, Gevorg Yeghiazaryan, noted that the protest brought positive results as citizens from other countries are now joining them.

    The Commission on Regulation of Public Services in Armenia in its June 17 meeting approved a decision to increase electricity tariffs by 6.93 Armenian drams (about $0.015). As a result, starting on August 1 consumers would have been required to pay 48.78 drams instead of the current 41.85 per 1 kWh per day.
  • Iran denies sourcing Russian airliners
    31.07.2015 15:16
    Iranв's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has denied reports that the country planned to furnish its fleet with passenger planes from Russia after the removal of sanctions.

    The rebuttal came after a Moscow-based news agency quoted CAO caretaker Mohammad Khodakarami as saying that Iran wanted to purchase Russian airliners and sought negotiations with the country's aircraft manufacturers for delivery of spare parts and other equipment, PressTV reports.

    "Iranian airlines will carefully examine all options for the country's new aviation fleet purchases and definitely will not restrict their choices to a single country or aircraft manufacturing company," the CAO said in a statement.

    "Given the annulment of the sanctions, a very vast market lies before the Iranian airlines for purchase of aircraft. Hence, the Civil Aviation Organization is in negotiations with the world's big plane manufacturers in an effort to pave the way for imports of the aircraft which it needs in its fleet," it added.

    On Thursday, Minister of Transportation Abbas Akhoundi was quoted as saying that Iran was in talks with Airbus for the renovation of its aviation fleet.

    The minister made the announcement after meeting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who visited Tehran following Akhoundi's trip to Paris to attend an air show in June.

    "Airbus, as one of the European aviation companies, comprises about 50% of Iran's aviation fleet and in this regard, we are in direct negotiations with the company to renovate our fleet," Akhoundi said.

    Earlier this month, Russian media quoted Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov as saying that his country was in talks to sell Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger planes to Iran but Iranian officials have not commented on the claim.\

    With the last remaining hurdle to normal business with Iran all but removed, major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus have indicated intention to sell planes to Tehran.

    Iranian officials have said the county would need 400-500 civilian aircraft worth at least $20 billion in the next decade to renovate its aging fleet which has suffered under years of US and European sanctions.
  • Iran denies sourcing Russian airliners
    31.07.2015 15:16
    Iranв's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has denied reports that the country planned to furnish its fleet with passenger planes from Russia after the removal of sanctions.

    The rebuttal came after a Moscow-based news agency quoted CAO caretaker Mohammad Khodakarami as saying that Iran wanted to purchase Russian airliners and sought negotiations with the country's aircraft manufacturers for delivery of spare parts and other equipment.

    "Iranian airlines will carefully examine all options for the country's new aviation fleet purchases and definitely will not restrict their choices to a single country or aircraft manufacturing company," the CAO said in a statement, Press TV reports.

    "Given the annulment of the sanctions, a very vast market lies before the Iranian airlines for purchase of aircraft. Hence, the Civil Aviation Organization is in negotiations with the world's big plane manufacturers in an effort to pave the way for imports of the aircraft which it needs in its fleet," it added.

    On Thursday, Minister of Transportation Abbas Akhoundi was quoted as saying that Iran was in talks with Airbus for the renovation of its aviation fleet.

    The minister made the announcement after meeting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who visited Tehran following Akhoundi's trip to Paris to attend an air show in June.

    "Airbus, as one of the European aviation companies, comprises about 50% of Iran's aviation fleet and in this regard, we are in direct negotiations with the company to renovate our fleet," Akhoundi said.

    Earlier this month, Russian media quoted Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov as saying that his country was in talks to sell Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger planes to Iran but Iranian officials have not commented on the claim.

    With the last remaining hurdle to normal business with Iran all but removed, major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus have indicated intention to sell planes to Tehran.

    Iranian officials have said the county would need 400-500 civilian aircraft worth at least $20 billion in the next decade to renovate its aging fleet which has suffered under years of US and European sanctions.
  • Dirt in major part of Absheron district's polluted territories cleaned
    31.07.2015 15:02
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    A major part of the polluted areas of Baku's Absheron district has been cleared of dirt, Director of Environmental Monitoring Department under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Matanat Avazova toldВ TrendВ on July 30.

    She said that the cleanup has shown positive results and that it has encouraged the government to further continue improving the ecological situation in the country.

    "Until 1990, the territory of the polluted lands in the Absheron district was thousands of hectares. Their territory has significantly decreased. Polluted lands have been cleaned and put to use. Of course, this is not the end, and works in this regard are underway by the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry," Avazova noted.

    Touching upon the efforts carried out in the treatment of Caspian Sea water, she said that the results were satisfactory.

    "Sea water is monitored both by us [Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry] and the Health Ministry. The spread of dirt in the polluted lands has already been prevented. Much has been done in this regard. I think that we will be able to absolutely eliminate the problem of pollution of sea water in the near future," Avazova added.

    The Caspian Sea is under constant threat of pollution. The sources of the pollution are river runoff, onshore industrial and municipal wastewater, offshore and onshore oil extraction, etc.

    The pollution of this natural water basin dates back to the Soviet Union. Experts believe that river and sea pollution can be traced to the Caspianв's uncertain international legal status, maritime traffic, and coastal industrial facilities. New sources of pollution are being created as a result of the changing sea level, which floods coastal areas. Pesticides used in agriculture from Soviet times wash into the Caspianв's tributaries and flow into the sea, affecting its ecological state.

    A large-scale program, which would integrate all coastal countries, is being considered as a solution to the ecological problem.

    Also, special attention should be paid to monitoring, which would be carried out by different facilities, including remote monitoring by satellites, and observation mechanisms on the ground. Such a program would naturally create rapid information transfer on the state of the marine environment.
  • Iran confirms meteor hit
    31.07.2015 14:56
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    Iran has confirmed that a meteor has hit somewhere in the northern part of the country.

    The meteor landed in Avaj in the province of Qazvin, Mohammad Ali Ahani, director of Qazvin Crisis Management Staff said, Mehr news agency reported July 31.

    Also, there have been reports that some pieces of rock have hit areas in Eshtehard, Alborz Province, Arsalan Qasemi, governor of Boeen Zahra, county in Qazvin Province, said.

    Another local governor of Takestan County, Qazvin Province, said that the area witnessed the passing of the meteor, but nowhere in the district under his supervision had been hit.

    Edited by CN

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  • New steps in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement raise hopes for peace
    31.07.2015 14:49
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    After an extended delay in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armeniaв's provocations on the contact line, a small but nonetheless positive development has been observed in the negotiation process.

    The discussion of possible means to solve the long-standing conflict in Washington and Moscow between the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the high-ranking U.S. and Russian officials have paved the way for future progress in the settlement of the problem.

    Furthermore, statements by the senior officials of the leading countries calling for parties to intensify efforts to settle the conflict peacefully increase hopes for putting an end to a problem that is source of instability and a threat to peace and security in the South Caucasus region.

    A while ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov that it was time to intensify the negotiations on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    Washingtonв's role in the recent developments regarding the negotiation process on resolution of the lingering conflict is more visible.

    James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group has invited the Russian and French co-chairs to Washington to engage in high-level meetings with officials from the State Department, the Pentagon, and the intelligence community.

    Political Analyst Mubariz Ahmadoglu, the director of the Center for Political Innovations and Technology, said this is the first such event since the creation of the institute of co-chairmanship. Warlickв's aim was to familiarize the co-chairs with the U.S. position on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

    He noted that this qualitative change created by Warlick could soon pave the way for further changes.

    Referring to the meetings of the co-chairs in Washington and Moscow, as well as the recent visit to region, Ahmadoglu stressed that such proactivity by the co-chairs in such a short period of time was observed for the first time, in the meantime adding that not only activity, but also a change in content is apparent.

    In an interview with the newspaper 'Vedomostiв' in Moscow, Warlick said the "occupied lands should be returned to Azerbaijan." He also repeated this call during his visit to Yerevan.

    ''In any case, the activeness of Warlick is U.S. governmentв's policy. The changing position of the U.S. government on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict also received support from other structures of the West,'' Ahmadoglu said.

    The interest of world powers on a quick resolution to the conflict could promise progress and pave the way for a speedy settlement of problem in the near future.

    The recent nuclear deal between the P5 1 and Iran that ended a decade-old nuclear dispute could prove to be an example in this regard.

    However, Armeniaв's continuing unconstructive position in the negotiations and provocative moves to prolong the settlement of the problem cast a shadow on hopes for a speedy resolution of the conflict.

    Ahmadoglu said Armenia is not ready for peace, noting however, that it cannot declare its unwillingness to participate in the talks.

    ''That is why Armenia has declared that it supports package settlement option: first, it is needed to agree on all the issues and then solve them. Despite the fact that Armenia now goes to various manipulations, it is not far removed from its original opinion,'' Ahmadoglu said.

    He noted that the principle of "If one issue is not agreed, then all issues are not agreed" favors the Armenians, adding that the principle of consensus in the Minsk Group has turned into a kind of lifeline for the Armenians.

    Ahmadoglu further stated that despite the fact that the package and phased versions of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement have been forgotten over time, they were widely used.

    He went on to say that Azerbaijan agrees on a phased settlement of the conflict, being that the Armenians are not going to solve the Karabakh conflict anytime soon. ''Therefore, Azerbaijan considers acceptable the division and resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem phase by phase.''

    The expert further noted what is happening at the present stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement uses elements from both options, but this time by the co-chairing countries.

    ''The statements of the Russian side are very close to the phased solution, while the statements voiced by the United States coincide with the package option of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,'' Ahmadoglu said.

    The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. A lengthy war in the early 1990s resulted in the displacement of over one million Azerbaijanis from native and historical hands and the occupation of over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory '"including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions '" by the Armenian armed forces

    Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs dubbed the Madrid Principles. However, the negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.

    In addition, Armenia has been ignoring the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the withdrawal of its troops from the occupied territories over the past 20 years.
  • New Vice-President appointed at BP-Azerbaijan
    31.07.2015 14:43
    He will replace a citizen of other country in this position.

    Bakhtiyar Aslanbeyli has been appointed Vice President at BP-Azerbaijan.

    The head of the press service of BP-Azerbaijan Tamam Bayatli confirmed this information to APA-Economics, reports.

    She added that Aslanbayli will assume his duties at the end of August.
  • Azerbaijani foreign ministry calls Russian businessman Sterligov, his lawyers "legally illiterate"
    31.07.2015 14:36
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31


    Azerbaijani foreign ministry has called Russian businessman German Sterligov and his Armenian patron lawyers legally illiterate, Azerbaijani foreign ministry's official representative Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend July 31.

    Hajiyev made the remarks commenting on recent statements by Russian businessman regarding the fact that he has been put on the international wanted list by Azerbaijan.

    Story still developing

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  • Turkeyв's revenues from tourism fall sharply
    31.07.2015 14:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    In the second quarter of 2015, Turkey's revenues from tourism fell sharply compared to the same period last year, said the message of the Turkish Statistical Institute July 31.

    In the second quarter of this year, Turkey's tourism revenues decreased by 13.8 percent and amounted to $7.733 billion.

    The message said that of the total income received by Turkey from tourism in the second quarter, $5.95 billion fell on foreign tourists, $1.77 billion - on Turkish citizens living abroad.

    The country's incomes from tourism rose in 2014 by 6.2 percent compared with the same figures for 2013 standing at $34.305 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

    Edited by CN


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  • Azerbaijan reveals reason of declaring German Sterligov internationally wanted
    31.07.2015 14:33
    Hikmet Hajiyev: Sterligovв's hiding in the occupied territories evading his responsibility, once again proves that there is a fertile environment for crimes in those territories

    "German Sterligov and his Armenian lawyers once again demonstrated their legal illiteracy. The criminal case was launched on German Sterligov, who committed illegal crimes in sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, under articles # 281.2 (public calls against the state) and 318.2 (illegally crossing state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, he was sentenced to pre-trial detention and declared internationally wanted," said spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hikmet Hajiyev, APA reports.

    "German Sterligov is a citizen of the Russian Federation and full member of Russia's Interpol. Interpol is an intergovernmental international organization having the status of international organization since 1956.

    German Sterligov mainly visits Armenia and Russia, the member countries of Interpol, and taking into account this factor he was declared wanted via Interpol.

    The regime of occupation, which has been clearly defined by the international law and international humanitarian law, exists in Azerbaijan's territories occupied by Armenia. The occupation of those territories by Armenia is reflected in the documents adopted by international organizations, as well as the UN Security Council relevant resolutions and the judgment issued by the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia", he stressed.

    H.Hajiyev mentioned that hiding of G.Sterligov, who was charged with specific offenses and sentenced to pre-trial detention, in the occupied territories evading his responsibility, once again proves that there is a fertile environment for crimes in those territories.
  • Turkmenistan, Russia identify priorities of cooperation
    31.07.2015 14:23
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 31

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov and President of Russia Vladimir Putin expressed confidence in the prospects of intensifying mutually advantageous cooperation during a telephone conversation, said the message of the Turkmen government July 31.

    The Russian side initiated the conversation..

    The message said that during the conversation, the leaders of the two states expressed satisfaction with the opportunity to discuss the most important aspects of Turkmen-Russian cooperation in personal conversation, as well as to exchange views on some international and regional policy issues.

    "As part of the conversation, which was held in a businesslike, constructive manner, the highest attention was paid to the discussion of the implementation of earlier agreements, designed to serve the deepening of partnership built on principles of equality, trust and mutual respect," said the message.

    Among the significant vectors of cooperation, the sides mentioned the trade and economic sphere, transport and communication, urban development, agroindustrial complex and other spheres.

    The leaders of the two states expressed confidence that the experience of regular contacts at the highest and intergovernmental level will directly contribute to strengthening the Turkmen-Russian dialogue.

    Regarding the international policy issues of mutual interest, the sides stated that the positions of Turkmenistan and Russia are close in their pursuit to fully support the positive development of global processes, in particular, the establishment of a broad international dialogue on key items of the global agenda and strengthening the foundations of lasting peace, stability and global security.

    Russia holds leading positions in the ranking of the largest foreign trade partners of Turkmenistan. The cooperation between the two countries has been recently intensified at the regional level.

    More than 190 companies with Russian capital have been registered in Turkmenistan.

    They are implementing more than 240 investment projects.

    Edited by CN

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  • Asian imports of Iran oil rise 13 pct in June from year ago
    31.07.2015 14:16
    Asian imports of Iranian crude oil rose from a year ago in June, the last month before a landmark agreement that will eventually lead to more exports from the country was reached on Tehran's disputed nuclear program, Reuters reported July 31.

    Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - totalled 1.17 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up more than 13 percent from a year earlier, government and tanker-tracking data showed.

    Iran is keen to recover market share that evaporated under U.S. and European Union sanctions designed to keep its exports at around 1 million bpd, down from 2.5 million bpd in 2011.

    Under the accord reached in Vienna on July 14, Iran will be subject to longer-term restrictions on its nuclear programme in return for the removal of U.S., U.N. and European sanctions.

    The restrictions are to be removed next year if the deal is approved by the U.S. Congress and inspectors confirm that Iran is in compliance with the limits to its nuclear activities.

    Iran, however, has already outlined plans to rebuild its main industries and trade relationships, saying last week it was targeting oil and gas projects with foreign partners worth $185 billion by 2020.

    It would take around $100 billion to return Iran's oil industry to the level of five years ago, Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said in an interview published in

    Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung on Thursday.

    "My sense is that really long term (production) contracts still won't be in place until maybe mid-2016," Richard Nephew, a sanctions specialist at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, New York, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

    Iranian oil exports may rise by between 300,000 to 500,000 bpd after the nuclear agreement starts in 2016, he added.

    More Iranian oil is already on the move though, with at least one 2-million-barrel supertanker on its way to Asia after sitting in Iranian waters for months as storage.

    Over the first half of 2015, Asian buyers took in 1.1 million bpd, down nearly 9 percent from a year earlier.

    Japan's purchases fell more than 50 percent in June from a year ago to 93,046 bpd, trade ministry data showed on Friday.

    The following tables show Asia's Iran crude imports in bpd for June and the year to date.

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  • Azerbaijani students win contest in US for their invention
    31.07.2015 14:16
    Whether at school or the dinner table, at some point everyone has been scolded with the words ''sit up straight!'' and ''donв't slouch!''

    We can all fall foul of poor posture at times but the long-term repercussions of ignoring curving shoulders can be significant. Long-term damage can reportedly range from muscle and joint pain, to mental health issues. Azerbaijani Imagine Cup finalist NoObs believes that good posture is as important as eating right, exercising and getting a good night's sleep. The team has developed an inventive way of reminding us to give our posture the attention it deserves.

    In today's tech-powered world, it's not uncommon for people to spend hours bent over their laptops or smartphones. Exacerbating the problem is that Europeans are spending more time than ever sitting at desks for our day jobs, making it easy to develop bad habits like slouching. It's up to each of us to find effective ways to maintain a healthy position for our back and shoulder during the day.

    Designed to help avoid the development of symptoms associated with incorrect spinal position, the team's project, lsquo;Spinal', uses smartphone technology to help users manage their posture. Deploying special sensors via wearable technology, reports can be accessed through an app that provides feedback on posture whether sitting, walking or working. This clever approach can also provide real-time alerts when a user slips into an unsafe position, delivering instructions on how to correct their posture.

    The team, made up of four engineering and computer science students, was inspired to take on this issue during a discussion at university - looking around the lecture theatre they noticed that almost everyone was slouching in one way or another. Keen to work on projects that would positively impact the quality of peoples' lives, and realising how widespread this problem really is, they were determined to find a solution rooted in technology.

    By enhancing awareness and increasing the control that people have over this issue, NoObs hopes to help prevent posture-related problems worldwide.

    The contest involved 33 teams. The winners of the first, second and third places get USD 50,000, 10,000 and 5,000 respectively.
  • IAEA inspectors to be checked before allowed in Iran
    31.07.2015 14:10
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    The International Atomic Energy Agency will send a list of inspectors to Iran and after approval, they can travel to Tehran, a senior member of Iran's parliament said.

    "We will check the name of the inspectors first and will refuse those who have negative deeds against Iran," Esmail Kosari, member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Parliament, told Trend July 31.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said July 30 during a speech on TV that Iran will only allow inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with Tehran.

    He said that Canadian and the U.S. origin inspectors will not be allowed in Iran.

    Araqchi also said during a meeting with the members of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Parliament that during the verification process, the IAEA would introduce 150 inspectors to Iran to inspect the country's nuclear activities.

    Kosari said that Iran Foreign Ministry hasn't justified the inspectors issue to MPs clearly, but undoubtedly Iran will not allow those inspectors which have negative deeds against Iran in past.

    "If you look at the past, we had secret information, leaked by some inspectors, or we had several nuclear scientists, assassinated," Iranian senor member of parliament said.

    Mentioning some crisis about the secret agreements, achieved on July 14 between Iran and P5 1 (the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany), Araqchi who serves as Iran's top nuclear negotiator with the Sextet said that the secret agreement was agreed between the IAEA and Iran's Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. "That is not any deal with JCPOA," Fars news agency quoted him as saying July 30.

    He also said that some measures have been taken so that investigation and inspections of the IAEA from Iran's military sites wouldn't lead to revealing the country's army secrets to foreigners".

    While ignoring the objections of both Iran and U.S. lawmakers, the implementation of nuclear agreement depends on verification of Iran's nuclear program by the IAEA. Araqchi says the removal of sanctions based on the nuclear agreement could start in two to three months. Iran has also asked the IAEA to keep the mutual agreement hidden.

    Edited by CN

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  • Staffless Pay-what-you-will bookstore in China actually works
    31.07.2015 13:53
    A peculiar outdoor bookstore recently opened in Nanjing, China. There is no cashier desk and no working staff to keep an eye on the books. Instead, visitors are invited to peruse the reading material on offer and pay whatever they want for books by dropping the money in a lock-box.

    Organizers say theВ aptly named Honesty Bookstore is a social experiment meant to raise awareness of honesty and integrity. Believe it or not, so far, people have been doing the right thing. With no staff around, there is absolutely nothing stopping people from just taking the books they like and leaving without paying anything for them. Well, nothing but their conscience, that is. According to several news reports from China, people have actually been dropping money inside the box of their own free will, and Honesty Bookstore organizers claim that the raised money is enough to cover costs.

    Honesty Bookshop, located on Xinjiekou Street, Nanjing, consists ofВ four bookshelves holding around 1,500 titles, including novels,В lifestyle books, children and social science books. It managed to sell over 300 books on opening day, with clients paying what organizers say was ''basically'' the right amount. A total of 800 books were sold over the weekend, and not a single one was stolen.

    News about the bookstoreв's functional payment model has been greatly welcomed in China, especially since similar experiments had had less positive results in the past. Two years ago, we wrote about a smallВ self-service restaurant in Chinaв's Fujian Province, where patrons were invited to pay what they felt wasВ the true price of the meal. Around 20% of clients simply walked out without paying anything, and owners reported losses ofВ 250,000 yuan ($41,170) in a very short time despite the place being packed every day.

    /By Oddity Central/
  • Erdogan urges world to fight IS
    31.07.2015 13:53
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The entire world should stand up to fight against militants of the terrorist organization "Islamic State", said Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan July 31.

    He made the remarks while on a visit to Malaysia, according to a report of the Turkish news channel TRT Haber.

    Erdogan said the "Islamic State" (IS) is a terrorist organization aiming to denigrate Islam, adding that Turkey is fighting against that organization.

    On July 25, the Turkish Air Force launched a major military air operation in the northern Syria against the IS.

    Earlier it was reported that the Incirlik air base in the Turkish province of Adana can be used to fight the IS.

    A total of 1,300 people suspected of having links with the IS have been detained in the anti-terrorist operations in Turkey.

    Edited by SI


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Turkmenistan, UK mull prospects for intensifying co-op in various spheres
    31.07.2015 13:53
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 31

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    The UK delegation led by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tobias Ellwood is on a working visit to Ashgabat, said the message from Turkmen government.

    During the meeting held at Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed the possibilities of expanding the cooperation on a number of spheres such as energy, civil aviation, sports and tourism, said the message.

    They also expressed interest in cooperation in ensuring human rights and freedoms by exchanging experience in this sphere.

    The two sides expressed commitment to intensifying the cooperation at the level of foreign ministries of the two countries by enhancing the political dialogue and organizing mutual visits.

    Talking about the cooperation in trade and economic sphere, the sides emphasized the fruitful activities of Turkmenistan-UK Trade amp; Industry Council (TUKTIC).

    They stressed the importance of strengthening the legal framework and practical implementation of the agreements by organizing joint projects, as well as by working out a joint action plan to improve the relations.

    Such UK companies as Dragon Oil, Burren Energy, Gaffney, Cline amp; Associates, De La Rue and others operate in Turkmenistan. The UK regards Turkmenistan as one of the key players in the international energy sphere.

    Edited by SI

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  • Tajikistan's trade turnover decreases
    31.07.2015 13:43
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    The current unstable political and economic situation created by Western sanctions against Russia is in turn affecting the volume of Tajikistan's external turnover, which has decreased by 22 percent for the first half of 2015.

    In comparison with the corresponding period for the previous year, the volume of Tajikistan's foreign trade turnover decreased by $563.4 million, totaling just over $2 billion in the first half of current year, reported Abdufatoh Goibov, head of the Tajikistan Customs Service.

    As a result of the Western sanctions against Russia, with which the country has strong ties, Tajikistan's external trade turnover and, generally, the country's economy are undergoing a range of negative consequences.

    The unstable national exchange rate is also affected by the decline in the countryв's trade, mentioned Goibov.

    The entrepreneurs that were involved in importing vehicles have left their trades to start other businesses, mainly in the manufacturing sector, due to the increasing tax rates and other similar barriers in neighboring countries.

    Goibov also mentioned that the high costs of cargo transportation in neighboring countries is also affecting exports from the country, including high transit rates in Uzbekistan, at the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, and the Karamyk checkpoint at the Tajik-China border.

    All of these factors significantly increase the costs of international cargo and rail and road transportation, added Goibov.

    The decrease of external trade turnover also negatively impacts the collection of customs duties.

    Thus, customs duties amounting to over 1.6 billion soms (around $265 million) were transferred to the state budget in the first half of the current year, a decline of roughly 18.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

    The Tajik Ministry of Economic Development earlier reported that Russia and Kazakhstan are Tajikistanв's main trading partners and a drop in trade with these countries has also negatively influenced the country's economy figures.

    The volume of remittances from Tajik migrants working in Russia has reduced, and as a result, the countryв's purchasing power for imports has also decreased.

    According to the Tajikistan Statistical Agency, the volume of Tajikistanв's trade turnover with Russia decreased by 11.3 percent in January-June 2015, while the trade turnover with Kazakhstan decreased by 16.9 percent.
  • Baku, Tehran committed to broaden economic cooperation
    31.07.2015 13:30
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhaniв's government has named the development of ties with the neighboring countries as one of his priority issues.

    Moving in line with this policy, Tehran has significantly expanded relations with its historic neighbor Baku.

    The nuclear deal and the lifting of international sanctions promise to open new opportunities for deepening economic cooperation between the two countries.

    Experts believe that Azerbaijan can play a significant role in the export of Iranian energy resources to the European market during the post-sanctions period.

    Iran is eager to sell its gas in European markets once sanctions are removed. Since the country does not possess a direct supply route to Europe, the Azerbaijan-initiated TANAP project '" part of Sothern Gas Corridor aimed at providing Europe with natural gas '" could be a simple and profitable option for its European exports.

    Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said a new chapter will be opened in Iranв's ties with neighboring countries, particularly with Azerbaijan in the post-sanctions period.

    Araqchi said due to its unique transit potential located between Iran and Europe, Baku would have an important place in Iranв's future cooperation with the EU.

    In the background of the recent positive developments, Baku and Tehran take measures to further broaden economic relations.

    Mohsen Pak Ayeen, Iranian ambassador to Baku has recently stated than an Azerbaijani economic delegation, headed by, Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev, will travel to Iran on August 3.

    He toldВ TrendВ that the delegation will include both government and private sector officials.

    The visit will take place at the invitation of Iranв's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi.

    Pak Ayeen added that representatives of energy, transport, telecommunications, banking, and oil companies will accompany Mustafayev during his Tehran visit.

    In a meeting between Pak Ayeen and Mustafayev in Baku, the Azerbaijani minister said his visit to Tehran will pave the way for holding the 10th joint economic committee meeting in the second half of the current year.

    The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said Iran pays special importance to countries that stood by the Iranian nation during the unjust sanctions.

    ''Presidents of the two countries met several times over the past two years. Iran wants friendly ties with all regional countries. We hope that relations between Tehran and Baku will increase in this line,'' he said.?

    Referring to the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5 1, Mustafayev appreciated it as an important measure toward regional stability and security, noting that Baku has never participated in anti-Iran sanctions and has always backed Iranв's peaceful nuclear program.

    The lifting of sanctions will also affect the development of commercial relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, particularly in the border regions. Also, the operations of Azerbaijani companies could expand in Iran should the Iranian economy continue to liberalize.

    Iranian officials have repeatedly called on Azerbaijani businessmen to make investments in various sectors of economy in the Islamic Republic.

    Azerbaijan was the 12th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

    Iran exported $435.34 million of non-oil goods to Azerbaijan and imported $22.22 million of non-oil goods from the country.

    Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished in 1992.

    Currently, the two countries are focused on expanding their economic ties in various fields, including industry, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, and transportation.
  • Elkhan Suleymanov addresses letter to EURONEST PA co-chairs and Bureau members
    31.07.2015 13:26
    Baku '" APA. Chairman of Azerbaijani delegation to the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly Elkhan Suleymanov has addressed a letter to Euronest PA co-chairs and Bureau members.

    APA reports that the letter says:

    "Dear colleagues,

    The Secretariat suggests in its recent letter to attribute reports of two Committees to the EP component Secretariat, and the other two reports to EaP component Secretariat.

    Although "fair" distribution of reports is proposed in the Secretariat's letter, it's stated that EP component Secretariat has taken the report of Political Committee. Thus, we would like to state that both components of the EURONEST PA have equal rights. The EP and EaP countries are equal parties.

    We believe that this decision of the EP Secretariat should be evaluated as the EP's effort to preserve its influence on EaP countries. We've repeatedly witnessed such kind of pressure and discrimination.

    For example, although the EP assessed the Presidential elections of 2013 in Azerbaijan as fair and transparent, this institution decided not to send a monitoring mission to the elections in 2015 with different biased excuses. Moreover, MEPs are also prohibited to observe the elections in Azerbaijan in their personal capacity.

    In this context, the Azerbaijani delegation definitely objects to the preparation of the draft report in Political Committee by the EP component Secretariat. If this objection is ignored, the Azerbaijani delegation states that it will not attend the meetings of Political Committee and discussions of that report in the Assembly."
  • Customs exemptions to lead to development of high tech parks in Azerbaijan
    31.07.2015 13:24
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    The seven-year exemption for the residents of Mingachevir High Tech Park from customs duties for importing high-tech product components will give an impetus to the establishment of new and the development of existing high tech parks in Azerbaijan, Vugar Bayramov believes.

    The Chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development told Azernews that customs privileges would pave the way for a decrease in expenditures.

    "It, in turn, creates a financial incentive for the development of the high tech parks and leads to an increase of state support in this regard. It also leads to an increase of interest in innovative and information technologies," he said.

    The expert also said that the development of the information technologies sector is considered as one of the top priorities of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector.

    "The development of this sector is also emphasized in the 'Azerbaijan 2020: A Look into the Futureв' strategy. I think that customs privileges will allow for increasing the volume of investments in information technologies and gaining more profits," Bayramov noted.

    The application of customs privileges will be carried out in accordance with amendments to the governmental decree "On rates of customs duties on export-import operations in Azerbaijan."

    According to the amendments, customs privileges will be applied to export-oriented products.

    The list includes storage arrays (HDDs) and other devices for computers, and various parts and accessories (electronic modules) and monitors.

    Customs privileges will also be imposed on electronic integrated circuits (integrated and non-integrated processors and controllers with the memory devices, converters, logic circuits, amplifiers, synchronizers and etc.).

    Azerbaijan, which has actively sought to limit its reliance on its energy sector by diversifying its industries, is looking to unveil a series of benefits to attract residents to its soon-to-be constructed High Tech Park.

    The Mingachevir High Tech Park was set up in view of securing sustainable development and economic competitiveness. The expansion of innovative and high-tech industries based on modern scientific and technological achievements, as well as research and development at a modern complex for new technologies, will enable Azerbaijan to make its mark in the region and promote growth.

    The facility will stretch 1.3 hectares and fall under the administration of the Communication and High Technologies Ministry.

    The high-tech park has been equipped and organized in such a way that it will promote research and development work, ultimately leading to the commercialization of new products and high tech applications.

    An initial investment of 2 million manats was allocated to the project from the Azerbaijani President's Reserve Fund.

    Presently, Mingachevir is well known for its production of KUR computer equipment.

    The KUR plant, which was established in 2005, is the only manufacturing company engaged in the assembly-line production of computer equipment and electronics in the South Caucasus region. The plant will be used for the production of high-tech products, starting this year.

    Mingachevir High Tech Park will work in collaboration with another facility in Baku. The High Tech Park is currently under construction in an area comprising 50 hectares in the Pirallahi district of the capital.

    This facility will also be equipped with all of the necessary infrastructure, logistics, and governing entities, enabling engineers to conduct research in ICT telecommunications, energy efficiency, and the development of new and high technologies.

    Moreover, residents and companies operating in the park will be exempt from VAT (18 percent) on all imported infrastructural and technological goods and services.

    Along with the development of high tech parks, Azerbaijan has worked to develop its Industrial Park in Sumgayit, Azerbaijanв's primary industrial city.
  • Unstable truce and Armenian compromise
    31.07.2015 13:07
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

    The electricity tariffs will increase in Armenia tomorrow. Thousands of people have recently protested against this increase. The Armenian government did the only thing it could in this case. It stalled for time and misled people by promising to resolve this issue fairly. The Armenian compromise is that people achieved nothing by ceasing protests. The electricity tariffs will be increased. People will have to pay 7 drams ($0.014) more for 1 kWh of electricity in Armenia from August 1.

    People urged to reduce the electricity tariffs, as well as to punish the police officers who used force against protesters and journalists while dispersing the rally on June 23. But strange promises about an audit were made. The audit described negative consequences for Armenia if the tariffs are not increased, rather than to prove that the Electric Networks of Armenia (a subsidiary of the Russian Inter RAO) unfairly urged to increase the tariffs.

    It is obvious that people became the losers again. The world's best auditors will prove the correctness of the tariff increase.

    The Armenian government will have to pay 2.5-3 billion drams (5-6 million euros) to the Electric Networks of Armenia on a monthly basis through the subsidies for the poor. This is not a big price to continue being in power. This money will likely to be obtained from the budget. The taxpayers, that is, people, rather than the government will pay.

    However, the truce with the people was not long. The audit results in the Electric Networks of Armenia will be known in two to three months. If people are not pleased, the protests will resume.

    People stopped striking in June, two weeks after the rallies began, by achieving promises to correct everything. But next time, these protests could turn into something more massive. People are too tired to endure another rate increase. The situation with the economy of Armenia is objectively aggravating. In case of another devaluation or an increase in prices on transport, gas, or bread, people's patience may give away and they will not believe the promises of the government any more.

    Edited by CN

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  • Bike lovers enjoy sport contest in Shahdagh
    31.07.2015 13:03
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    For the first time in Azerbaijan the Shahdagh winter and summer tourism complex hosted an exciting event Day of Cyclists for bike lovers on July 25.

    The complex organized several cycling roads for amateurs and professionals for sport contests.

    The rise of the slopes for beginners and experienced cyclists carried out by the cable cars and equipped with special holders for bicycles. There are different obstacles such as jumps and ramps on the track for amateurs, which provide cyclists an opportunity to practice their skills.

    On the track for beginners were various obstacles (jumps, ramps). Extreme route was much longer and more complicated; in addition, a specially prepared route was not available for recovery by cable car.

    Participants were transported to the start point, which is located on high of 2,351 meters above sea level, by special vehicles.

    The winners and prize-winners were awarded with diplomas and valuable prizes.
  • Fitch discloses strength limit of gold mining companies
    31.07.2015 13:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31


    A significant fall in costs for gold miners over the last couple of years means the industry is better placed to cope if gold drops to $1,000/oz and stays there for an extended period, Fitch Ratings said July 30.

    "At that price, the funds from operations gross leverage ratio for most Fitch-rated gold miners would probably remain within the guidelines for their current ratings through 2018," the statement said.

    However, for some producers this cost reduction has been partially driven by local-currency depreciation against the dollar and a sharp rebound, particularly in the Russian ruble, is a risk for some companies.

    "Gold has hit five-year lows in the last couple of weeks, so the flexibility companies have to cope with persistent weaker prices is crucial," the statement said. "This includes whether companies are able to reduce production costs and how flexible they are in revising capex programmes or postponing projects. Many companies have made good progress in cutting costs since the sharp drop in gold prices in the first half of 2013."

    Russian gold companies have reported some of the biggest cost improvements. Russian major Polyus Gold's (BBB-/Negative) reported total cash costs (TCC) for 2014 were down by 17 percent to $585/oz. Nordgold (BB-/Stable) whose Russian operations account for around a third of production, reduced TCC by 20 percent in 2014 to $675/oz.

    North American companies Goldcorp (BBB/Stable), Kinross Gold (BBB-/Stable), and Yamana Gold (BBB-/Stable) have also benefitted from currency devaluation in their producing countries. But the impact has been mitigated by higher prices for supplies and raw materials in some countries. Peru's largest precious metals miner, Compania de Minas Buenaventura (BBB/Stable), has low production costs (in the first quartile of the cost curve), which has improved following an efficiency drive and decreased opex combined with the sale of higher cost units. The company's TCC for gold was $575/oz in 2014.

    "In terms of capex flexibility, among North American miners only Yamana has major expansion spending planned, with construction at its low cost Cerro Moro project expected to start in late 2015," the statement said. "Goldcorp has recently completed some (and is close to completing a vast majority) of its current expansion projects and will benefit from increased production in the near future, while Kinross has curtailed expansion spending in light of the unfavourable market environment, preserving cash flow to strengthen its balance sheet. Polyus Gold has room to maintain strong production in the medium term by improving its operating mines, while development of its Natalka project has been delayed."

  • US, Iran not to share Middle East
    31.07.2015 13:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    There are no prospects for normalization of relations between the US and Iran, Gordon Hahn, professor of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, analyst and advisory board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, told Trend July 31.

    Hahn was commenting on the normalization of relations between the two countries following the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and the P5 1.

    "I do not see any prospects for normalization given different long-term strategic interests in the Middle East between the US and Iran, such as Israel's right to exist and Iran's long-term role and goals in Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, etc.," said Hahn.

    Iran and P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) reached a historic agreement on Iran's nuclear program July 14.

    The negotiations ended with adoption of a joint comprehensive action plan.

    If Iran carries out this plan, the economic and financial sanctions earlier imposed on it by the UN Security Council, the US and the EU will be lifted.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

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  • Average monthly temperature to be above normal in Azerbaijan in August
    31.07.2015 12:49
    The weather forecast for August has been announced in Azerbaijan.

    The National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources told APA that the average monthly temperature will be close to the climate norm and above normal in some places in August.

    The monthly precipitation will be close to the climate norm, while a little high in some areas.

    The average monthly temperature in Baku and the Absheron Peninsula is predicted to be 25hellip;27 C (22hellip;27 C at nights, 30hellip;35 C during daytimes, and sometimes even 38hellip;41 C during the first half of August). This figure is close to the climate norm and 1 C above normal.

    The monthly precipitation will be close to the climate norm (6-8 mm).
Exchange Rates of Central Bank