Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:9PM
File photo shows the Iranian Central Bank HQ in capital Tehran.
File photo shows the Iranian Central Bank HQ in capital Tehran.
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It goes without saying, Iran’s efforts to raise oil exports could not have come at a worse time, given the market’s lingering oversupply. Yet, that’s just part of the story.

In 2012, the US and European Union imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors, and as a result, the country’s oil exports were cut almost in half. Right up until the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2231, which was based on the recently agreed JCPOA between Iran and six world powers, the UN body had already passed some 6 other resolutions since 2006, imposing restrictions on Iranian commercial and financial activities.

Iran’s subsidy reform plan is now in its fifth year. The original plan was for the revenues generated by it to be spent on the poorest strata of the Iranian society and on making the country's industries and production units more efficient thus lowering unemployment rates across the country.

The unveiling of this new contractual framework, otherwise known as the IPC, or the Iran (Integrated) Petroleum contract, took place through an international conference held on November 28th and 29th here in the Iranian capital, under the “Tehran Summit”.

Reasons for holding the Summit at this particular juncture in Iran is namely the promising prospects of a sense of broadening in Iran’s international engagement and presence among the larger community of nations which was ushered in following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and an agreement reached between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries, recently. Energy carriers were offered at new prices in late 2010 by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a policy that was meant to save hard currency to then be directly deposited into the nation’s sovereign fund or previously the country’s Oil Stabilization fund. This way, a considerable portion of what was supposed to be indirect subsidies, was directly handed out to the people.

According to the plan, 30% of the subsidy reform-induced revenues were planned to be re-directed toward the industrial sector; something which wasn’t accomplished. The six development plan is to be examined and voted on by the parliament this year. Its full name is the “Five-year Economic, Social, and Cultural Development Plan” and it was drawn up by the country’s Plan and Budget Organization. On February 19, 2014, and after consulting with the Expediency Council, an administrative assembly appointed by the leader himself, announced the general policies of what’s come to be known as a “resistive or resistance Economy”. 

Cancer is a leading cause of disease worldwide. There were approximately 14.1 million new cases of cancer in 2012. The number of cancer cases in Iran is on the low side compared to the global average of a hundred and 85 per every one hundred thousand. The Foundation for Special Diseases is a non-governmental organization that has been researching on cancer and other terminal illnesses; for nearly two decades. The National Cancer Institute of Iran is a subdivision of the foundation that concentrates on research, education and prevention of cancer. When it comes to stem cell research and certain bio-engineering fields of investigation, Iran is cutting edge.

In recent years, the Laser technology has become very important in medicine and for industries. The National Laser Centre in Tehran generates lasers for a variety of applications, which every few years is then put on display to highlight some of its achievements. Iran’s National Center for Laser Science and Technology was established 8 years ago and has been working on laser technology and laser generation ever since. The centre produces a wide range of lasers that can be used in medicine, as well as high powered lasers that can be used for industrial purposes.

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