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To: AdmSmith; seamole; onyx; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Valin
Iran Minister Due in Japan, Oil May Be on Agenda

Wed August 27, 2003 12:39 AM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will arrive in Japan later on Wednesday for a three-day visit amid signs of progress on a $2 billion deal to develop Azadegan, one of the world's largest untapped oil fields.
A Japanese government-backed consortium missed a June 30 deadline with Iran for the Azadegan contract following pressure from the United States -- Tokyo's key security ally -- to back away from it due to concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

But resource-poor Japan has made clear it is keen to do the deal with Tehran, its third-largest oil supplier.

Japanese Trade Minister Takeo Hiranuma told a news conference on Tuesday that talks on the oil deal were progressing and that the two sides had reached "substantial compromises" on some points.

But he added, without giving details, that a few matters still needed to be worked out.

The consortium includes the government-backed Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (JAPEX) and INPEX Corp as well as Japanese trading house Tomen Corp

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said the oil deal could well come up at the talks with Kharrazi, in which Tokyo intends to press Tehran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' atomic watchdog, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.

The international community has been urging Iran to sign an additional protocol to Tehran's safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The protocol would require Iran to let the IAEA conduct enhanced inspections of its nuclear facilities.

A Foreign Ministry official said last week that Japan wanted Iran to sign the additional protocol but had not made that a condition for reaching a deal on the oil field.

The IAEA said on Tuesday in a confidential report that Iran had stepped up cooperation with the agency in recent months, but that it still had questions about weapons-grade uranium found in the country.
6 posted on 08/27/2003 12:46:20 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: AdmSmith; seamole
Carmaking sector's growth amazing

Tehran, Aug 26 - Minister of Industry and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri here Monday said that with the 30 percent, the automobile industry registered the highest growth rate among all the sectors in the economy in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).

Speaking at the inauguration ceremonies for opening of three new assembly lines at 'Iran-Khodro' industrial group, he added that the sector will play a pivotal role in the country's industrialization drive.

He said the outcomes of the right policies, including increased attention to quality, price, after-sale services, competitiveness as well as schemes to enter into joint production with foreign automobile and parts manufacturers are beginning to pay div idends.

He said there are about 2,000 parts manufacturers in the country and the number of automobile produced will increase from the 500,000 units last year to over 700,000 units this year.

The industry employs about 500,000 people, Jahangiri said adding that the companies in addition to removing technical defects are striving to compete in international markets.

On the environment issue, Jahangiri said the companies have also taken important steps to upgrade their environmental standards and metinternational regulations.
7 posted on 08/27/2003 12:47:32 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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