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Norway/Iran Important Meetings

Norway/Iran Important Meetings

Ambassador meets ILNA

Last week ambassador Jens-Petter Kjemprud met the General Manager of Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) Esrafil Ebadati and a number of his staff. The Ambassador was shown around the premises and met journalists and staff. Mr. Ebadati and the ambassador discussed issues most relevant to workers in Iran and Norway and the organizational set up of the workers organisations in both countries. Mr. Ebadati said the hardship created by sanctions on Iran had led to reduced purchase power for Iranian workers and thus following wage demands by Workers House.  A new minimum wage has been introduced as well as direct payments, but the high inflation still affects workers negatively. The two also discussed the upcoming elections in both countries.

Nordic Council of Ministers and ECO Secretary Generals meet

During World Economic Forum in Abu Dhabi 18th November Secretary General of Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten met his counterpart in Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Shamil Aleskerov. The two discussed issues of common concern and best practices from which the organisations could benefit. Chief of Staff Kenneth Broman and ambassador Jens-Petter Kjemprud also participated in the meeting. Norway has supported ECO in environmental issues as well as in power trade and Secretary General Aleskerov has visited both Norway and Finland this year.

Embassy meets new Chairman of NDF

Dr.Seyed Safdar Hosseini, the new Chairman of Board of Executive Directors of the National Development Fund received ambassador Jens-Petter Kjemprud and DHM Thomas Bruusgaard Høgseth at the NDF Headquarters. Dr. Hosseini explained about the current state of the NDF and plans for the future including hosting the 2015 Annual Meeting of the world’s Sovereign Wealth Funds in Tehran. NDF participated in this year’s Annual Meeting held in Oslo and general issues related to Sovereign Funds as well as possible future cooperation was discussed.

Ambassador meets Boroujerdi

The Head of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and National Security in Majlis, Alaeidin Boroujerdi, yesterday welcomed ambassador Jens-Petter Kjemprud to Majlis. The two discussed the current status of bilateral relations as well as regional issues of common concern in particular the current developments in Syria and preparations for the Geneva 2 conference. Mr. Boroujerdi also explained and elaborated on Iran’s positions to the P5+1 talks to be held in Geneva later this week.

Norway assists in the implementation of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program

Norway assists in the implementation of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program

The agreement between the P5+1 countries (the US, Russia, the UK, France, China and Germany) and Iran was reached in July 2015 after several years of extensive efforts. Under the agreement, Iran has committed itself to restricting its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to a maximum of 300kg. This means that Iran needs to dispose of its excess enriched uranium in order to comply with the agreement. At the same time, Iran needs fuel for its nuclear reactors.

‘Reducing the amount of low-enriched uranium is a key part of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, and it is important for making sure that Iran does not intend to develop nuclear weapons. Norway is directly supporting the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and is thus playing a vital part in the implementation of the agreement,’ said Mr Brende.

Norway has provided support for 60 000kg natural uranium (uranium concentrate) and its transportation from Kazakhstan to Iran, amounting to around USD 6 million. Iran has also transported unused enriched uranium fuel out of the country. Experts from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority have verified and controlled the transportation of the natural uranium. This took place on 27 December.

‘The implementation of the agreement will be a victory for the international non-proliferation regime and for international diplomacy. Norway’s support to the IAEA and the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme is an example of disarmament and non-proliferation work in practice. It also reflects the importance the Government attaches to concrete, effective action in this field. The implementation of the agreement will not only strengthen the global non-proliferation regime; it will also contribute to greater stability in the Middle East,’ said Mr Brende.

UN Security Council resolution 2231 calls upon all UN Member States to support the implementation of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. On 15 December, the IAEA Board of Governors confirmed that Iran had so far fulfilled its obligations under the agreement and that its nuclear programme had no military purpose. Norway’s contribution to the implementation of the agreement is in line with the efforts taking place in the run up to the Nuclear Security Summit, which will be held in Washington in spring 2016. Norway has provided extraordinary funding for the IAEA’s monitoring of the implementation of the agreement since 2013. So far, this has amounted to NOK 14 million.

Norway tightens asylum regulations

Norway tightens asylum regulations

Not everyone who comes to Norway is entitled to protection under the Refugee Convention. Persons who do not qualify for asylum or other permits in Norway, and whose applications are denied, must return to their country of origin or country of habitual residence.

Applications that appear likely to be denied will be given priority and fast-tracked.

Anyone crossing the border into Norway must have a visa. If you want to work or study in Norway, you must apply for the relevant permit(s) before you travel to Norway.

Applications can be submitted at the Norwegian embassy.

People from safe areas of Afghanistan or who have been granted residence in another country will have their application rejected and will be deported. People from areas that are not considered safe may be returned to other parts of Afghanistan.

In 2014 and 2015 more than 500 people have been returned from Norway to Afghanistan.

“The government is going to reduce benefits for asylum seekers and introduce tighter rules for asylum and family immigration,” says Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen (Progress Party – FrP).

 To stem the flow of asylum seekers to Norway, the government is introducing several measures including:

  • reducing benefits for people living in reception centres
  • increasing the period of residence to become eligible for permanent residence
  • using integration criteria for the granting of applications for permanent residence
  • limiting family reunification and family establishment rights for refugees

For a more detailed list of restrictions please visit this Facebook-page where the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security provides information about the current regulations and the tightening of Norway’s asylum policy.

Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Tore Hattrem visits Iran

Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Tore Hattrem visits Iran

The Deputy Minister met amongst others vice president mrs Massoumeh Ebtekar, Minister of Trade mr Mohammed Reza Nematzadeh and Deputy Minister mr Takht Ravanchi. The visit was a continuation of the political dialogue Norway and Iran have had the last years, recently through Minister of Foreign Affairs mr Børge Brende’s visit to Iran November 2014 and vice president Ebteka’s visit to Norway June this year.

Topics on the agenda were the situation in the Middle East, the nuclear deal, human rights, and economic cooperation. Mr Hattrem was accompanied by representatives for the Norwegian companies/organisations Innovation Norway, The Norwegian Shipowner’s Association, DNV GL, DNO, and AkvaGroup.