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Jan 27, 2012

Iran hits back at EU with own oil embargo threat

TEHRAN, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Fighting sanctions with
sanctions in a trial of strength with the West over its nuclear
ambitions, Iran warned on Friday it may halt oil exports to
Europe next week in a move calculated to hurt ailing European
economies.

At the same time, the government in Tehran, grappling with
its own economic crisis under Western trade and banking
embargoes, will host a rare visit on Sunday by U.N.
nuclear inspectors for talks that the ruling clergy may hope can
relieve diplomatic pressure as they struggle to bolster public
support.

Jan 27, 2012

Iran could ban EU oil exports next week -lawmakers

TEHRAN, Jan 27 (Reuters) – A law to be debated in
Iran’s parliament on Sunday may halt oil exports to the European
Union as early as next week, foiling an EU plan to phase in an
oil embargo gradually to help its struggling economies adapt,
lawmakers said on Friday.

“On Sunday, parliament will have to approve a ‘double
emergency’ bill calling for a halt in the export of Iranian oil
to Europe starting next week,” Hossein Ibrahimi, vice-chairman
of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee,
was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Jan 25, 2012

Iran’s Ahmadinejad ups rates to stem money crisis

TEHRAN, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad agreed to increase bank interest rates on Wednesday,
hoping to halt a spiralling currency crisis intensified by new
Western sanctions.

“The economy minister has announced Ahmadinejad has agreed
with the approval of the Money and Credit Council to increase
interest rates on bank deposits to up to 21 percent,” the
official IRNA news agency reported.

Jan 23, 2012

Iran’s softer Gulf words don’t mean nuclear shift

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has stepped back from a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, but while its softened rhetoric appears to be aimed at de-escalating military tensions, it does not indicate any change of stance on its nuclear programme.

“Iran’s leadership has a strong sense of self-preservation,” said Robert Smith, a consultant at Facts Global Energy. “The comments can likely be interpreted as a sign of cooler heads prevailing.”

Jan 22, 2012

Analysis: Iran’s softer Gulf words don’t mean nuclear shift

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has stepped back from a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, but while its softened rhetoric appears to be aimed at de-escalating military tensions, it does not indicate any change of stance on its nuclear program.

“Iran’s leadership has a strong sense of self-preservation,” said Robert Smith, a consultant at Facts Global Energy. “The comments can likely be interpreted as a sign of cooler heads prevailing.”

Jan 21, 2012

After threats, Iran plays down US naval moves

TEHRAN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guard
Corps said on Saturday it considered the likely return of U.S.
warships to the Gulf part of routine activity, backing away from
previous warnings to Washington not to re-enter the area.

The statement may be seen as an effort to reduce tensions
after Washington said it would respond if Iran made good on a
threat to block the Strait of Hormuz – the vital shipping lane
for oil exports from the Gulf.

Jan 19, 2012

Iran says in touch with powers on new talks

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said it was in touch with big powers to reopen talks soon on its nuclear program, but Washington and the European Union denied this and urged Tehran to show it was ready to engage.

A year after the last talks fell apart, confrontation is brewing over Tehran’s nuclear work, which the United States and other countries say is focused on developing atomic weapons. Iran dismisses the accusation.

Jan 18, 2012

Iran says it is in touch with powers on new talks, EU denies

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said on Wednesday it was in touch with big powers to hold fresh talks soon but the European Union denied it, with Britain saying Tehran had yet to show willingness for negotiations on its disputed nuclear work without preconditions.

A year after the last talks collapsed, tensions are rising with the United States and EU preparing to embargo Iran’s lifeblood oil industry over its refusal to suspend a nuclear program that the West suspects is meant to develop atom bombs.

Jan 18, 2012

Iran says in touch with powers on new talks, EU denies it

TEHRAN, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Iran said on Wednesday it
was in touch with big powers to hold fresh talks soon but the
European Union denied it, with Britain saying Tehran had yet to
show willingness for negotiations on its disputed nuclear work
without preconditions.

A year after the last talks collapsed, tensions are rising
with the United States and EU preparing to embargo Iran’s
lifeblood oil industry over its refusal to suspend a nuclear
programme that the West suspects is meant to develop atom bombs.

Jan 17, 2012

Iran cautious over Golden Globe film “A Separation”

TEHRAN (Reuters) – The Iranian government sounded a note of caution on Tuesday about the success of “A Separation” which won a Golden Globe for best foreign film, saying gritty realist films favored by critics showed a skewed version of the Islamic Republic.

While Iranian movie fans were thrilled to see director Asghar Farhadi receive the award from Madonna in a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday, the Tehran government, which keeps a tight control on movie output, has shown less enthusiasm.