Saturday, August 31, 2013

Iran Oil Revenues Down by 58% Because of Sanctions

Iran’s monthly oil revenues averaged an estimated $3.4 billion in the first half of 2013, down from $6.3 billion in the same period last year, a drop of 46 percent, Reuters reported today. The monthly revenues in the first half of this year compared to 2011, when it stood at $8 billion before the oil sanctions began, have dropped by 58%.

The Associated Press had also reported earlier that nearly half of Iran's monthly earnings from crude oil exports are accumulating in accounts overseas because of U.S. sanctions that restrict Tehran's access to the money. A senior U.S. official had told AP that about $1.5 billion in crude oil revenues (out of the current $3.4 billion) is piling up in restricted foreign accounts every month. So in practical terms, Iran’s available hard currency from monthly oil sales has dropped from $6.3 billion last year to around $1.9 billion this year.

Iran informed U.S. of Sarin transfer to 'extremist' rebels in Syria - FM Zarif

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister [ISNA] 

BBC Persian reports that Iranian intelligence became aware of "homemade" Sarin making its way to "extremist" rebels in Syria, and that 9 months ago Iran's foreign ministry took the extraordinary step of conveying the intel to the U.S. through the United States Interest Section at the Swiss embassy in Tehran. The claim is made by Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif in an interview with Asman Magazine. Zarif further states the U.S. offered no response to the shared intelligence.

Iran to Use Sayyad Missiles in S-200 Air Defense System

Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmayeeli told reporters in Tehran today that Iran has “restructured” its Russian-made S-200 missile defense system to be operated with homemade Sayaad (“Hunter”) 2 missiles.

The Sayyad-2 static surface-to-air missiles reportedly have a maximum range of between 200 and 350 km, using radio illumination mid-course correction to fly towards the target with a terminal semi-active radar homing phase. The missile is based on Russian S-75 (NATO SA-2 Guideline) and is influenced by the Chinese HQ-2 and the HAWK and Standard missiles currently in the country’s air defense force inventory. It was first tested in April 2011.

Iran tested its S-200 anti-aircraft missile systems in November 2010. It is a long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend against bomber attack.

Gen. Esmayeeli also said that his command will soon test Bavar (“Belief”) 373 system – which he described as an Iranian version of Russian S-300 long-range air defense system. Russia has refused to deliver the S-300 to Iran despite having signed a sales contract with the country.

File photo: Sayyad-2 missiles (Hossein Fatemi/Fars News Agecny)

Moaliabad highway overpasses in Shiraz, under construction

Two of three Moaliabad highway overpass bridges currently under construction in Shiraz

Liebherr A900B Litronic wheeled excavator working the site

Mercedes-Benz LP-series truck-mounted hydraulic telescopic crane working the site

Note unrelated residential construction seen in background

Photos: Amin Aleshams at