News ID: 137445
Published: 0722 GMT February 27, 2016

Iran-China trade down 41% in January

Iran-China trade down 41% in January

The volume of trade exchange between Iran and China has dropped by 41 percent year-on-year amid plunging oil prices.

Sino-Iranian trade dropped to $2.07 billion in January 2016, Tasnim News Agency reported, citing China’s customs office.

Chinese-Iranian trade stood at $3.5 billion in January 2015.

According to the report, China’s exports to Iran declined $1.3 billion in January 2016 from $2.25 billion a year earlier, showing a 42 percent decrease.

China’s imports from Iran also dropped to $1.25 billion in the same period, showing a year-on-year 39 percent slump.

The decline in the bilateral trade comes as crude oil prices have plunged in recent months.

Beijing is the top customer of Iran’s crude and is seen as Tehran’s largest trade partner.

Iran and China have agreed to build economic ties worth up to $600 billion within the next 10 years.


Lawyer yet to be appointed for detained Iranian-American


Iran said on Saturday that Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi, detained since October over security charges would have access to a lawyer upon approval of Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

"According to the criminal code, lawyers should be approved by the head of the judiciary in security cases ... therefore if a lawyer is presented according to these rules, he will be accepted, whether on this case or any other," Tasnim News Agency quoted Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei as saying.

The businessman was on a list published last month by Iranian media of four prisoners to be freed in a prisoner exchange with the United States. His name was later withdrawn from the list with no explanation.

Five Iranian-American groups have written to US Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to work to release Namazi.

Namazi was detained while visiting family in Iran. Officials have yet to announce charges against him.

"There is one law for all accused," Ejei added. Iran does not recognize dual nationality.



Tehran fare rates increase by over 13%


Tehran City Council (TCC) increased fare rates by an average rate of over 13 percent, a local official said on Saturday.

Eqbal Shakeri, the head of TCC’s Transportation Commission, told ISNA that fare rates of taxi by 15 percent and metro and bus 12 percent. 

He noted that the Tehran Municipality was seeking to increase transport charges by 25 percent.

Shakeri added that changes will take effect as of March 20.


Protesters demand release of relatives from MKO custody


Several Iranians gathered in front of a former military base near Baghdad international airport to call for the release of their family members taken hostage by the terrorist group Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).

According to IRNA, they were asking for a meeting with their relatives inside Camp Liberty during the Friday protest.

They also called on the international bodies to help release those who have been forced to stay at the notorious camp.

In June 2015, a similar rally urges the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to help them meet their family members at the camp.

The MKO has carried out numerous terrorist attacks on civilians and government officials in Iran over the past three decades. Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, some 12,000 have fallen victim to the acts of terror carried out by the MKO.

MKO terrorists were welcomed into Iraq by executed dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980s during the war with neighboring Iran. Iraq’s current government considers their presence in the country illegal.


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