Media Watch | Report: Iran Oil Exports Plummet; Images from an Execution
by DAN GEIST
21 Jun 2012 14:30
Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Farsi and Arabic press and excerpts where the source is in English. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Any views expressed are the authors' own. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow breaking news stories on our Twitter feed.2:30 p.m. IRDT, 1 Tir/June 21 As the members of the European Union prepare for an embargo on Iranian oil set to begin July 1 and other countries around the world reduce their purchases from the Islamic Republic to attain waivers from U.S. sanctions, already faltering Iranian exports are undergoing another severe drop in June, according to a report from Reuters:
Crude exports from Iran so far this month have dropped to between 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and 1.3 million bpd, according to a firm that tracks oil shipments and sources at oil companies. [...]
"I understand Europeans don't want to touch it anymore and nothing is clear around exemptions for July," said a trading source at a company that used to buy Iranian oil. [...]
Iran's crude shipments in May were between 1.5 million bpd and 1.6 million bpd, according to the same sources, who declined to be identified by name because they are not authorized to speak to the media. [...]
Last year, Iranian crude exports were running at about 2 million-2.2 million bpd with total production, including domestic consumption, at 3.5 million-3.6 million bpd.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government may be forced to lift price controls it has imposed in an attempt to check inflationary pressures that have mounted since the slashing of subsidies on energy and many household goods in late 2010. Drawing on an article in Iran's Jomhouri Eslami daily, Bloomberg reports,
The cost of a liter of milk and a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of wheat for local producers are 8,000 rials (0.65 cents) and 5,000 rials respectively, according to the newspaper, which typically reflects the views of the Iranian leadership. Producers can't be expected to continue selling milk to the government at the official prices of 6,300 rials and 4,200 rials, it said.
Producer costs rose by between 34 percent and 37 percent in the Iranian year that ended in March, Jomhouri Eslami said, citing central bank figures. International sanctions imposed on Iran to curb its nuclear program have weakened the rial and added to inflationary pressures.
The rial, which began the year with an open-market exchange rate of 14,800 to the dollar, is currently trading at over 18,000 per dollar. The official exchange rate has been fixed by the Central Bank of Iran at 12,260 rials to the dollar since January 28.
Four men convicted of rape were publicly executed in Tehran on Wednesday morning. The names of the four men, who were killed in a group hanging, were given as Iman Amani, Farshid Aliari, Behzad Tajik, and Mohammad Aikahi. Hundreds of people turned out to see the execution, which took place in the southeast of the Iranian capital. Here are some images from the event taken by Hamed Jafarnejad for the Fars News Agency, which is operated by an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps foundation.
A Tehran Bureau contributor reports that 21 people are known to have been executed in Iran so far this June. According to Amnesty International's most recent annual report on the death penalty around the world, issued this March,
Excluding China, Iran is the only country where Amnesty International confirms hundreds of executions every year. As in other years, the organization believes that there are a large number of additional judicial killings, not officially acknowledged. In 2011 Iran was also one of the few countries in the world which exhibited an upward trend in the use of the death penalty overall. Amnesty International registered a marked rise in executions in 2011 continuing an increase begun in mid-2010. This was mostly due to a very high number of executions for alleged drugs offences.
Amnesty International recorded 360 executions acknowledged by judicial or officially licensed media sources within Iran. Among these were at least four women and three individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time the alleged crimes were committed. However, it is believed that the true number is likely to be considerably higher. Credible sources within and outside of Iran provided information that there were at least 274 reported but not officially confirmed additional executions in 2011, including at least 148 executions in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad. This brings the total number of executions to 634. At least 50 public executions were carried out, a near-quadrupling of the number in 2010, despite a 2008 directive from the former Head of the Judiciary that public executions should not be carried without his permission.
The U.N. Commission on Human Rights and multiple U.N. human rights special rapporteurs have expressed concern about the Iranian government's profligate use of public executions. In a report that was released in February, "'We Are Ordered to Crush You': Expanding Repression of Dissent in Iran," Amnesty International observed, "Public executions are believed to have quadrupled in 2011 in what may be a strategy to spread fear among the population and to deter protests."
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