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How Iran’s economy will look after ‘Implementation Day’

How Iran’s economy will look after ‘Implementation Day’

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Iran has complied with all of its technical commitments under the comprehensive deal it struck with the six world powers in July 2015 to curb certain aspects of its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief. As a result as much as $100 billion will pour into its scrambled economy and pave the way for more to come. It has shipped out 11,000 kilograms of its enriched uranium to Russia, reduced the number of its spinning centrifuges to reach the permitted limit of 6,105 active units, and dismantled the core of the heavy water reactor in the city of Arak and filled it with cement. Now, with the verification of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano and...

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India-Iran: Bracing for a fundamental renewal of relations

India-Iran: Bracing for a fundamental renewal of relations

Kourosh Ziabari - Gateway House: As Iran and the six world powers gear up for the implementation of the historic agreement over the Tehran’s nuclear program concluded earlier on 14 July, Indian leaders and businesspeople share an equal, authentic concern: how to win the lion’s share of Iran’s lucrative market of 80 million consumers, surpass the avaricious international competitors eyeing the country’s energy industry and forge closer ties with a nation that is expected to emerge strong from more than a decade of paralyzing economic sanctions. Iran and India have historic, cordial and untroubled relations, despite some hiccups during the U.S. and European Union economic sanctions of the past 12 years. The bilateral is now...

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The IPC Terms Demonstrate a Big Improvement on Iran’s Old Oil Contract Model

The IPC Terms Demonstrate a Big Improvement on Iran’s Old Oil Contract Model

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum has recently introduced a new set of contracts for its upstream projects to draw international investment and rehabilitate the country’s injured oil and gas industry. The removal of sanctions placed on Iran over its nuclear program is imminent, and with the implementation of the comprehensive nuclear deal concluded in July 2015, international firms will be once more allowed to invest in Iran’s profitable energy projects. Oil and gas experts believe the new formula for the energy contracts, known as Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC), boasts many enticing provisions and persuasive advantages, including the exclusion of “buyback system” that had been in place for about...

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Is Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeking a comeback?

Is Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeking a comeback?

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still being harshly criticised in public, especially by the pro-reform, outspoken officials of President Hassan Rouhani's administration. Rouhani, a centrist cleric, has himself opted to keep a restrained, inconspicuous stance in regard to the policies of the previous administration. However, several high-profile figures in Rouhani’s cabinet do not shy away from candidly chiding Ahmadinejad over a number of issues: from his adventurous, outlandish foreign policy to his economic mismanagement, which pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The First Vice-President of Iran Eshaq Jahangiri has said Ahmadinejad squandered $950 billion of...

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Why Iran and Saudi Arabia need to slam on the brakes

Why Iran and Saudi Arabia need to slam on the brakes

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Tensions between Iran and the Arab world – not just Saudi Arabia – are spiralling out of control. The execution of the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Saudi government and the subsequent eruption of anger in Iran, the largest Shia country in the world, marked by the unwarranted assault by a mob of hardliners on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its consulate in northeastern city of Mashhad, has resulted in a dismal diplomatic rupture distancing Iran from the Arab world further. In response to the violent attack on the Saudi diplomatic offices in Iran, in which the fanatics – described by President Hassan Rouhani as "a group of headstrongs"– caused destruction to the...

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A Blame Game: The Worst Thing Iran and Saudi Arabia Can Instigate

A Blame Game: The Worst Thing Iran and Saudi Arabia Can Instigate

Kourosh Ziabari - The Huffington Post: Iran and Saudi Arabia have been embroiled in a bitter diplomatic spat over the past days. The face-off was triggered when the kingdom executed 47 people in a day, including a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric, who is claimed to have incited unrest by taking up arms and calling for foreign intervention in the country. The claim is refuted by many journalists and commentators who have reported that Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was a non-violent preacher and simply advocated greater freedoms for the suppressed Shiite minority of Saudi Arabia. In the wake of the provocative execution, a mob of angry protesters -- totally unduly and unjustifiably -- attacked the diplomatic compounds of Saudi Arabia in the Iranian...

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To combat ISIS, does the US need to punish Iranians?

To combat ISIS, does the US need to punish Iranians?

Kourosh Ziabari - Your Middle East: The bloody Paris attacks and the heartrending San Bernardino shooting spree – which were ultimately blamed on “Islamist terrorists” – have panicked the United States, and anti-Muslim sentiments are now on a seismic, mind-boggling surge across the country. Severed pig heads and burnt pages of the Holy Quran are thrown at the doorsteps of mosques in Philadelphia, Austin and elsewhere; Islamic centers are on the receiving end of threatening phone calls while their walls are being spray-painted with racist mottos by the xenophobic vandals; and profiling of Muslims at U.S. airports and removing of Muslims passengers from flights have resurfaced again. Even the Sikhs have been assaulted on the...

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Donald Trump’s Comments Are Inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution: Tayyib Rashid

Donald Trump’s Comments Are Inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution: Tayyib Rashid

Kourosh Ziabari - Truth NGO: The incendiary statement made by the Republican U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump in December 2015, who called for the “complete shutdown” of all Muslims from entering the United States, provoked outrage and dismay across the world and underlined the rise of an Islamophobic trend in the campaign season rhetoric in America. Many American Muslims reacted to Trump’s comments by saying that his prejudiced conviction was unconstitutional and un-American and ran counter to the principle of freedom of religion sustained in the First Amendment. Prior to that, Donald Trump had called for the profiling of American Muslims in special databases and demanded that they should carry identification cards...

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The U.S. Best Selling Poet … Is a Persian!

The U.S. Best Selling Poet … Is a Persian!

Kourosh Ziabari - Huffington Post: For those who are not closely familiar with the history of what is called the Middle East today, "Persia" mostly sounds like a weird and eccentric name that has to be looked for in the encyclopedias and textbooks. There are people to whom the word Persia resonates with some ancient geographical territory, but they're unable to locate it on the map. And of course there are people who are well aware that the word "Persia" was used since the fifth century BCE to describe one of the world's longest-standing and most venerable empires, inherited to the modern-day country that George W. Bush once said was part of an Axis of Evil: Iran. The Persian culture and its manifestations, which continue to...

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Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism: Equally Abominable

Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism: Equally Abominable

Kourosh Ziabari - Huffington Post: Imagine you're traveling from Sacramento, CA to Richmond, VA on a flight you've been anticipating for a couple of weeks so as to reunite with the family members you were missing for quite a while. At the airport, you've gone through all the security inspections and passport check, handed over your laptop and iPad devices for "additional screening", taken off your shoes at the request of the guards talking to you grimly, emptied your pockets - having no option but to allow the security officer unzip your wallet and find how much money you're carrying while he is actually looking for something suspicious, and finally boarded the plane, fastened your seatbelt, adjusted your pillow and just given a call...

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Mr. Trump! We Are Simply Muslims: We Are Not Monsters

Mr. Trump! We Are Simply Muslims: We Are Not Monsters

Kourosh Ziabari - Huffington Post: I was in Cartagena de Indias, a modern port city in the Bolivar Department north of Colombia two weeks ago to take part in a cultural journalism fellowship program. The city, boasting a charming colonial architecture, exaggerated graffitis on the abandoned walls of its Getsemani district, an ancient walled town and an alluring beach resort, has been the setting of many of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels. Part of our job in the fellowship was to file reports on the cultural, historical and touristic magnets of the city. I embarked on an unconventional journey for one of my reports, and ultimately realized that I had made the right decision. I set off a quest to find a mosque in the city of about 1...

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US hawks give Iran hardliners ammunition against Rouhani

US hawks give Iran hardliners ammunition against Rouhani

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani already faces a challenging task appeasing his political rivals who are apparently wounded by the conclusion of the long-sought nuclear deal with the six world powers - the five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany. It is an accord that the Iranian people are overwhelming supportive of, as it ends the suffering they have endured for decades as they bore the brunt of the West’s economic sanctions. Hardliners, however, still cannot conceal their anger at it, simply because the deal was signed by somebody other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also because it was signed with their favorite bogeyman, the United States. President Rouhani needs to...

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