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German carmaker Daimler

Iran Focus

London, 16 August - German carmaker Daimler has shelved its business plans with Iran in light of returning US sanctions, despite attempts by the EU to get businesses to continue investing in Iran, and they’re far from the only firm taking such a move.

These companies are bravely resisting the EU’s demands that European firms ignore US sanctions, which call for all companies to cut ties with Iran or face US secondary sanctions.

Last week, when the first of US nuclear-related sanctions came into force, following Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in May, the European Commission issued a blocking statute that instructed that all firms continue to do business with Iran, unless they have already withdrawn or have special permission from the EU. If the firms ignore the EU’s warnings, they could face being sued by EU member states.

Iran-oil-US-sanctions

Iran Focus

London, 15 August - Iran is making a desperate attempt to avoid incoming US sanctions on its oil revenues by significantly lowering the price of its crude oil exports for its biggest buyers in the Asian market, according to an official from within the country’s oil ministry.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous as they were not cleared to speak on this issue, said: "The discount is part of the nature of the global markets being offered by all oil exporters."

However, many other oil exporting countries are not offering their oil this cheaply, so it seems that this is an attempt to convince its buyers to continue purchasing Iranian oil, even after strict US secondary sanctions come into force in November.

Iranian people blame Khamenei

Iran Focus

London, 14 August - In remarks that were broadcast by state television, spokesperson for the Iranian judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei discussed the dozens of arrests for financial crimes that occurred recently. “Sixty-seven suspects have been arrested, some of whom were released on bail, and more than 100 people including government employees and officials, as well as private employees and others have been given travel bans,” Ejei said.

In response to a proposal by the Islamic Republic’s Judiciary Sadegh Amoli Larijani to create new Islamic revolutionary courts that will impose maximum sentences on those “disrupting and corrupting the economy”, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, was quoted by the media as saying that those accused of economic corruption must be punished “swiftly and justly.”

EU, Japan, and South Korea cut banking investment with Iran

Iran Focus

London, 15 August - European, Japanese, and South Korean banks have suspended their investment finance contracts with Iran, according to the Islamic Republic’s Investment Organization.

Saeid Khani Oushani, the General Director for Loans and International Institutions and Organizations, said that while China and Russia are still committed to their deals with Iran, banks in Europe, Japan, and South Korea have stopped all interaction with Iran.

US Sanctions Limit the Ability of South Africa’s MTN Group to Repatriate Iran Cash

Iran Focus

London, 13 August - On Wednesday, Africa’s multinational mobile telecommunications company, MTN Group, stated that it will meet its 2018 dividend target despite new U.S. sanctions making it harder to repatriate cash from its Iran joint venture.

MTN reported a 7 percent drop in half-year profits on Wednesday. The company has around 3.4 billion rand ($256 million) in accumulated dividends and loans from its joint venture in Iran. MTN’s shares dropped some 8 percent in late trading following the results and its warning on Iran.

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