Headlines in Iranian English-language dailies on Dec 7

The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Tuesday, December 7, 2021:


According to Ashura News, quoted by the IRNA news agency


-- Raeisi defends proposals forwarded by Iran during Vienna talks

Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi defended the proposals that have been forwarded by Iran during negotiations held in Vienna to examine the prospect of the U.S. removing its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“Iran’s opposite parties had thought that we would not participate in negotiations and would not have anything to say. They had thought that we do not have any initiatives [to present],” Raeisi told a televised interview on Sunday, according Press TV.
“Today, however, it has been proven to the whole world that Iran would stage a powerful and estimable participation in the talks,” he added.


-- Iran plans sales of shares in PGPIC, largest divestiture ever


The Iranian government will sell its shares in the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Corporation (PGPIC), in what is expected to be the largest divestiture in the country’s asset sales program.
Head of the Iranian Privatization Organization Hossein Qorbanzadeh said that the government’s stake in PGPIC, which amounts to 18% of the total shares in the company, will be sold through a listing on the local stock market in the near future.


-- Barandaq in Ardebil Province selected as one of Best Tourism Villages

Barandaq Village in Khalkhal, in the northwestern Province of Ardebil, was selected as one of the Best Tourism Villages by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said head of the city’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department.
Speaking in an interview with IRNA, Ali Darvishi added that label was awarded to Barandaq Village at the 24th General Assembly of the UNWTO held in Madrid, Spain from Nov. 30-Dec. 3.
The Best Tourism Villages initiative was launched by UNWTO to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities.
The best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development were chosen at UNWTO’s General Assembly in Madrid.



-- UAE, Iran Hope to Turn Page in Bilateral Ties

 Iran expressed hopes Monday to turn the page in its ties with the United Arab Emirates during a rare visit by a senior official from the Persian Gulf Arab country.
UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al-Nahyan arrived in the country earlier Monday at the invitation of Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
His visit also included a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The trip was the first of its kind since relations between the two countries were downgraded in 2016.


-- Iran Handball Goalkeeper Khalili Named Player of Match

 Iran’s women’s handball team goalkeeper Fatemeh Khalili Behfar was selected as the Iran and Norway match’s best player.
The competition was held as part of the International Handball Federation’s Women’s World Championship 2021.
The Iranian national team were seen as the underdog against Norway, the reigning European champions and one of the most decorated handball teams in history with three world championships on its records.


-- IKCO, NIOPDC Sing Deal to Build 45,000 Bi-Fuel Cars

Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum and Iran Khodro have signed a contract worth $20 million to produce 45,000 bi-fuel cars, expanding the world’s largest fleet of vehicles running on either petrol or natural gas in the country.
The contract, signed between the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) and the country’s biggest automaker, is in line with the state plan pushing motorists to use cheaper, cleaner and plentiful natural gas.



-- Vocalist Alireza Qorbani to return to live shows in Germany, Switzerland

Iranian vocalist Alireza Qorbani has announced two concerts in Germany and Switzerland this month in what will be one of his few live performances since the COVID-19 pandemic.

His first concert will be performed at Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle Stuttgart Mozart-Saal, in Stuttgart on Saturday. Théâtre du Léman in Genève, Switzerland, will host his fans on December 16.


-- Over 17m tons of sponge iron produced in 7 months

Production of sponge iron in Iran stood at 17.082 million tons in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-October 22), IRNA reported.

As reported, sponge iron output stood at 2.563 million tons in the seventh month of the present year.

Direct reduced iron (DRI), also called sponge iron, is produced from the direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets, or fines) into iron by a reducing gas or elemental carbon produced from natural gas or coal. Many ores are suitable for direct reduction.


-- Stolen bas-relief discovered in southern Iran

Massive pieces of stolen bas-relief carving have recently been found in the Marvdasht plain, which is home to the UNESCO-registered sites of Persepolis and Pasargadae as well as tens of other magnificent structures, in southern Fars province. 

The Sassanid artwork named Farrokhzad inscription was originally discovered along with similar ones at the foot of Rahmat Mountain in southern Iran, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage announced on Sunday.

“The bas-relief that has recently been broken in half was originally installed near the ancient city of Istakhr… However, its inscriptions are almost intact,”  Mohammadreza Bahmani said on Sunday. 

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