Dec 30, 2020, 8:04 AM
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Headlines in Iranian English-language dailies on December 30

Tehran, Dec 30, IRNA – The following headlines appeared in the English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Wednesday:

** IRAN DAILY

-- Iran begins first human trial of homegrown coronavirus vaccine

Iran on Tuesday ended the first phase in the human trial of a locally made COVID-19 vaccine after successfully completing the initial steps, including tests on animals, and obtaining the necessary approvals.
The vaccine, dubbed Coviran Barekat, is produced by Shifa Pharmed, which is involved in the large-scale production of antibiotics and penicillin since its founding in 1995. It is part of a pharmaceutical corporation known as Barekat which is owned by the Headquarters for Executing the Orders of Imam Khomeini.
The vaccine was administered to three volunteers at a ceremony in Tehran.

-- Minister: Nine-month agricultural exports up 22%

Iran’s exports of agricultural products during the first nine months of the current calendar year (March 20-December 20) reached 6.1 million tons, indicating a 22 percent growth year-on-year, said the agricultural Jihad minister.  
In an address to an open session of the Iranian Parliament on Tuesday, Kazem Khavazi added the indices and performance of the domestic agriculture sector attest to the effectiveness of the efforts to guarantee the country’s food security and validity of the claims about this issue.

--Russian FM: Defense cooperation with Iran based on int’l law

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has defended his country’s defense ties with Iran, saying Moscow respects international law and gives priority to regional peace in its military cooperation with Tehran.

Lavrov made the remarks in an interview with Sputnik on Tuesday in response to a question whether Moscow and Tehran were planning to boost defense cooperation past the expiry of a UN arms embargo on Iran.

** KAYHAN INTERNATIONAL

Defying U.S., Iraq Moves to Enhance Ties With Iran

Iran’s Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian visited Iraq Tuesday at the head of a delegation to discuss "the capacities and ways to develop economic and trade cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad”, the Ministry of Energy in Tehran said in a statement.
He discussed with Iraqi officials the preparations for the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation meeting between the two countries, which will be hosted by Iran this month, the statement said.
"In the coming weeks, Tehran will host a meeting of the Iran-Iraq Joint High Commission for Economic and Trade Cooperation after a six-year hiatus,” he told reporters in Baghdad after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Alaa Ahmed al-Jubouri.

--Iran Runner-Up at Asian University Chess Championship

Iran finished in second place at the 2020 Asian University Chess Championship-Boys on Tuesday. Iran and Indonesia earned 19.5 points but the Indonesian team claimed the top spot with a better tie break.
Kazakhstan came third with 17.5 points. The 2020 Asian University Chess Championship-Girls came to an end on December 17 with Iran ranking third.
A total of 48 players participated in the event.
The 2020 Asian University Chess Championship was hosted online by the National University Sports Federation with the help of the Chess Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran from December 27 to 29.

--Iran Marks Anniversary of 2009 Pro-Islamic Republic Rallies

Iran is commemorating the 11th anniversary of mass rallies on December 30, 2009 that put an end to post-election unrest back then and renewed the nation’s allegiance to the Islamic establishment.
The occasion is also known as the Dey 9 epic, which refers to the huge demonstrations held in the capital Tehran and other cities on the ninth day of the Persian calendar month of Dey in support of the Islamic Republic.
The million-strong rallies restored tranquility to the country after months of political wrangling and foreign-backed riots, and ended what the Iranian authorities described as sedition ensuing the presidential election in June 2009.

** TEHRAN TIMES

-- Why has Iran suddenly reduced gas exports to Iraq?

Sharing a long border and an ancient cultural and religious heritage, Iran and Iraq have become strong economic and political allies since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Iran has played a significant role in meeting the Arab country’s energy needs.

Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed several power plants across the country, while Iranian electricity exports also account for a major part of the country’s power supply. Iran currently meets nearly 30 percent of Iraq's daily need to 14,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, while the country imports around 1.25 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of gas through the pipeline.

The Islamic Republic, however, has recently slashed its gas exports to Iraq and has threatened further reduction due to the Arab country’s failure to meet its payment obligations.

--Tehran center to showcase works by Hassan Ruholamin, painter of Islamic stories

Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Center plans to hang a collection of paintings by Hassan Ruholamin in an exhibition entitled “Family of Ali (AS)”. Fourteen paintings by the artist, whose works usually illustrate stories from the history of Islam, have been selected for the exhibit, which will open on Friday.

One of the artworks is “A Battle for Water” portraying Hazrat Abbas (AS), brother of Imam Hussein (AS), who fought a great battle to bring water for his brother’s thirsty children during the Ashura uprising.

--Some $1.2m allocated to Kermanshah’s tourism corridor

A budget of 50 billion rials (about $1.2 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) has been allocated to implement a project to create the first tourism corridor between the UNESCO-registered historical sites of Taq-e Bostan and Bisotun in western Kermanshah province.

The project started about a decade ago, however, studies progressed at a very slow pace, ISNA quoted Omid Qaderi, the provincial tourism chief, as saying on Tuesday.

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