Robin's Feed
Oct 13, 2010

Iran currency drop, strikes show unease over reforms

TEHRAN, Oct 13 (Reuters) – In Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, the
vaulted alleys that normally ring to the hammers of goldsmiths,
have been quiet recently; the doors of the gold merchants shut.

The latest strike by Iran’s powerful merchants against a new
tax lasted several days and pointed to wider unease among
Iranians over the government’s handling of an economy already
squeezed by ever-tighter international sanctions over its
nuclear programme.

Oct 3, 2010

Iran’s rial stays fragile despite central bank move

TEHRAN, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Iran’s currency, the rial, defied
central bank attempts to revive its value on Sunday, remaining
weak after falling 13 percent against the dollar last week.

Last week’s rial slump stirred talk of an unannounced policy
of devaluation or a scramble for dollars amid fear of a scarcity
in hard currency due to economic sanctions. But the central bank
said later it would intervene to shore up the rial.

Oct 2, 2010

Syria’s Assad rebuffs Washington by courting Iran

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assured his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday that their ties were solid — a view unlikely to please Washington which is working to isolate the Islamic state.

“We have stood beside Iran in a brotherly way from the very beginning of the (Iranian Islamic) revolution,” Assad said during a one-day visit to Tehran.

Sep 30, 2010

Iran’s bourse booms despite sanctions

TEHRAN, Sept 30 (Reuters) – In the busy foyer of the Tehran
Stock Exchange an old woman in a black chador clutches her
shopping bag and gazes up hopefully at the electronic display
showing the latest share prices.

Like the other Iranians bustling past her, she is betting on
a market that has soared to record highs despite ever-tightening
international sanctions, lackluster oil prices and political
uncertainty after last year’s disputed presidential election.

Sep 29, 2010

Iran currency slumps, central bank says to act

TEHRAN, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Iran’s rial has fallen more than
10 percent in the last two days, prompting speculation about a
shortage of hard currency in a country whose financial sector
has been hit by international sanctions.

The dollar was selling for 12,200 rials on Wednesday, Mehr
news agency reported, up from 10,850 on Monday. A Reuters
witness said some dealers had stopped selling dollars at all,
only offering to buy them. One newspaper said the dollar peaked
at 13,000 rials on Tuesday.

Sep 29, 2010

Ahmadinejad aide calls for more women’s rights

TEHRAN (Reuters) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s closest aide has called for more rights for Iran’s “oppressed” women, the latest controversial comments from a man who has become the lightning rod for divisions in the ruling elite.

“Women have been oppressed and treated unjustly in our society in the past and this oppression still exists,” Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie, the president’s chief of staff, was quoted as saying by Iranian newspapers Wednesday.

Sep 22, 2010

Blast in Iranian city kills 12, injures dozens

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Twelve people were killed and dozens injured when a bomb exploded among a crowd watching a military parade in northwestern Iran on Wednesday that a local official blamed on “anti-revolutionary” militants.

Some 35 people were wounded, 15 critically, in the blast in the city of Mahabad, in a predominantly Kurdish area near the borders of Iraq and Turkey, the ISNA news agency reported.

Sep 21, 2010

Iranians shocked by power bills as subsidy slashed

TEHRAN, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Many Iranian householders have
been stunned by huge electricity bills after the government
suddenly withdrew fuel subsidies without warning exactly when
the cuts would fall.

Consumers said on Tuesday their bills were as much as 1,000
percent higher than last month — the first hit from President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s sweeping plan to save the state the $100
billion it currently pays to subsidise essential goods.

Sep 17, 2010

Cleric tells Iranians to expect economic hardship

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranians will face economic hardship when the government slashes food and fuel subsidies, a senior cleric said on Friday, contradicting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s line that his policy will be painless.

The subsidy reform that Ahmadinejad has called “the biggest economic plan in the past 50 years” aims to phase out the $100 billion the state pays every year to keep down the price of essential goods. It is due to be launched in the coming weeks.

Sep 14, 2010

U.S. woman leaves Iran after over a year in jail

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans held in Iran for more than a year on suspicion of spying, left the country on Tuesday after she was released on bail, a diplomatic source said.

“She just left Iran from Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport,” said the source.