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Iran’s Non-Oil Trade Volume at $50 Bln in Seven Month

The latest statistics of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) show­ed that Iran’s foreign trade volume in the first seven month the current Iranian year (Mar. 21 – Oct. 22) has reached $49.580 billion. The volume of exports of non-oil goods (excluding crude oil, fuel oil and kerosene and also without considering exports out of luggage trade) in the same period  val­ued at $24.407 billion (-11%). China ($6.100 billion), Iraq ($ 5.173 billion), the United Arab Emi­rates ($ 2.784 billion), Tur­key ($2.672 billion) and Afghanistan ($ 1.283 billion) were Iran’s five major export destinations, which account­ed for $18.012 billion (74%) in total.

Iran imported goods, valued at $25.173 billion (-5%) in the first seven months of the current Ira­nian year (March 21– October 22), IRICA added. Accordingly, China ($ 6.399 billion), the Uni­ted Arab Emirates ($ 4.586 billion) Turkey ($ 3.037 billion), India ($ 2.335 billion) and Germany ($ 1.208 billion) exported over $17.565 billion (75%) worth of products to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the same period.

Toxic Smog Puts Tehran on Alert

Financial Tribune:   From halving public transportation fares and hiking traffic tolls by 50% in central Tehran, urban managers have resorted to last-ditch efforts to curb the air pollution choking the capital’s residents

Outdoor physical exercises in all school grades have been cancelled until Friday (Nov. 15), as the sprawling city experienced its seventh consecutive day of dangerously high air pollution levels.

In an emergency meeting held on Sunday, the Air Pollution Emergency Committee announ­ced that if the air quality deteriorates further in the following days, schools will be totally closed to minimize children's outdoor exposure, Tasnim News Agency reported. When air pollution hits an emergency level, representatives from Tehran City Council, Traffic Police, Tehran Munici­pa­li­ty and Department of Environment, along with those of interior and health ministries, convene the committee to tackle the phenomenon.

The density of toxic pollutants has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the cur­rent Iranian month (Oct. 23), reaching levels considered dangerous for vulnerable citizens, including children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory and cardiovas­cular problems, who are referred to as sensitive group.

HRW says Iran's healthcare system threatened by U.S. sanctions

Tehran Times:   When Ghazal had an operation at a hospital in Tehran to remove a tumor from her thigh, she hoped surgeons could take the whole growth out. But a crucial tool used to pre­vent the spread of cancer could not be imported because of sanctions the United States has imposed against Iran. And her case highlights a growing problem, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. The equipment that could have been used to place radiation sources inside of her body to destroy cancer cells and thereby reduce the risk of cellular contami­na­tion could not be purchased and imported because of U.S. restrictions on Iranian financial institutions. "Sanctions have prevented me from recovering if they haven't already ended my life," said Ghazal, who asked that her full name not be used due to political sensitivities. Her cancer returned one year later and is now spreading through her hip. The HRW report says al­though humanitarian trade is exempt from U.S. sanctions, "broad restrictions on financial transactions, coupled with aggressive rhetoric from U.S. officials, have drastically constrained the ability of Iranian entities to finance humanitarian imports, including vital medicines and medical equipment".

By listing Iran's central bank as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on September 20, the White House hampered the entity that provides foreign currency for anyone bringing medical goods into Iran. U.S. sanctions are deterring banks and foreign companies from engaging in any kind of trade with the country. According to the report, this leaves "Iranians with rare or com­plicated diseases unable to get the medicine and treatment they require," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

Touching lives

Iran produces 97 percent of its medicines locally, but a third of these drugs are made with active ingredients that are imported, according to the head of Iran's Food and Drug Organization.

People like Ghazal are hit particularly hard by the impact that U.S. sanctions are having on Iran's supply of medicines. The majority of drugs used to treat rare and chronic diseases, as well as multiple forms of cancers, are part of the three percent of essential medicines that Iran needs to import. "It's very difficult to deal with all of this," says Ghazal. "And it costs a very high pri­ce, as the health insurance doesn't cover any expenses," she added. Pazopanib, the chemotherapy drug she needs, does not have a local equivalent. 

U.S. sanctions are deterring banks and foreign companies from engaging in any kind of trade with the country.

Ghazal spends about 45 million rials ($1,350) a month on medication, basically the entire monthly income of a typical urban household, according to data gathered by the Statistical Centre of Iran. Medical costs could rise even further if oil revenues - which sustain Iran's currency and economy - continue to fall. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that inflation could reach 37 percent this year, six points higher than the inflation rate in 2018. For Iranians who cannot afford to buy foreign medication, the only option is to use the local equivalent covered by Iran's national health insurance. "In order to fill the gap left by foreign pharmaceutical products, the ministry of health increased the production of local medicines," explains Fereshte, a medical researcher in Tehran, who also was not comfortable sharing her surname. "But the quality is not the same," she added, referring to Iranian companies that started see­king alternative sourcing for raw material from Chinese and Indian markets - raising concerns among experts about the quality of the resulting products.

Dr Babak Roshanaei-Moghaddam, founder and director of the Tehran Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, works with patients suffering from the side effects of switching from foreign drugs to their local equivalents. "Patients develop defences," said Roshanaei-Moghaddam, explaining how the Iranian version of the antidepressant Zoloft gives some of his patients' nausea and diarrhoea. "Definitely, the local manufacturing quality control is not as developed and stringent as [that] of foreign companies". In addition to being cheaper and less reliable, the number of medicines being locally produced and covered by insurance is shrinking. In June 2019, the Young Journalist Club news agency published a list of 79 medications that the government regula­tor labelled as no longer covered in Iran.

Standing with Iranians?

The HRW report comes only days after Washington officially named Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering under the U.S. Patriot Act. The October 25 designation came along­side the U.S. Treasury's launch of a so-called humanitarian channel. According to the rules of the new mechanism, financial institutions are required to conduct "special due diligence" on accounts that they hold with Iranian banks to ensure that funds associated with humanitarian trade are not used "by the Iranian regime to develop ballistic missiles, support terrorism, or finance other malign activities". Critics argue this designation is an excuse for Washington to gain access to information on Iranian banks. The Trump administration could use data about assets held by Iranian entities to determine which of them it may target in the future. "The consequence of this action will be to further sever Iran's banks from the global financial system and will lead those few European banks continuing to facilitate humanitarian trade to cease all dealings with Iran," Tyler Cullis, a lawyer who specialises in sanctions law at Ferrari & Asso­ciates told Al Jazeera.

As part of the Treasury statement, the U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said that the new channel would make it easier "to engage in legitimate humanitarian trade on be­half of the Iranian people", adding that the U.S. "will continue to stand with the Iranian people". But Ghazal feels like she is standing alone: "If the U.S. government was really standing with us ... it would have not taken away everything we have," she told Al Jazeera. "Or it should not have left patients with no other choice but to die".

Iran’s Inflation rate at 42 Percent

The average goods and services Consumer Price Index in the 12-month period ending Oct. 22 increased by 42.0% compared with last year’s corresponding period. SCI had put the annual in­fla­tion rate for the preceding Iranian month, which ended on Sept. 22 at 42.7%. 

Consumer inflation registered a year-on-year increase of 28.3% in the Iranian month ending Oc­to­ber 22 compared with the corresponding month of last year, SCI said.

Deutsch-Iranischer Außenhandel von Januar bis August 2019

Von Januar bis August 2019 fiel der deutsch-iranische Außenhandel auf 1.107 Millionen Euro und damit im Vergleich zum Vorjahreszeitraum um 48%. Deutschland lieferte Wa­­­ren im Wert von 963 Millionen Euro (-46%); die iranischen Lieferungen nach Deutschand  lagen bei 144 Mio. Euro (-57%). 

Wichtigste Warengruppen bei den deutschen Lieferungen nach Iran in den ersten achtMo­na­ten  2019 wa­­ren Ma­­­schi­­nen, Apparate und mechanische Geräte (284  Mio. Euro),  pharma­zeu­ti­sche Er­­zeug­nisse (138 Mio. Euro), optische, photo­gra­fi­sche usw. Er­zeug­nisse (79 Mio. Eu­ro), Getreide (69 Mio. Euro) sowie elektro­tech­ni­sche Er­zeug­nisse (68 Mio. Euro).

Die iranischen Liefe­run­gen nach Deutschland im Berichtszeitraum setz­ten sich u.a. zu­sam­­men aus geniessbaren Früch­­­­­­­ten und Nüssen im Wert von 42 Mio. Eu­­ro, pharma­zeu­­ti­schen Er­zeugnis­sen (22 Mio. Euro), ande­ren Waren tie­­ri­schen Ur­sprungs (Häu­te und Schafs­­därme) (21 Mio. Eu­ro) sowie Teppi­chen (16 Mio. €).

Eine Ta­bel­le mit 98 Wa­rengruppen kann angefor­dert werden.  Hauptursache für den Rückgang des Han­­dels zwi­schen Iran und Deutschland sind die seit November 2018 wieder vollständig reak­ti­vier­ten US-Sankti­onen.  Nach Angaben des Statis­ti­schen Bun­des­amtes, Revision: Jan. – Mai 2019