IRAN & RUSSIA OPTIMISM
Talks between the P5+1 nations and Iran have failed to reach a conclusive outcome by the self-imposed 31st March deadline. The P5+1 nations and Iran have extended talks for a further 24 hours, in the hope that an outline agreement over Iran's nuclear programme could be reached.
Iran and Russia have both expressed optimism that an initial agreement was within reach.
The initial agreement would pave the way for a final accord to be signed into action in June of this year. A number of sticking points remain, however, with the number of centrifuges Iran can operate said to be among them.
News agency Reuters reported that the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, had said that negotiators had reached a general accord on "all key aspects".
Iran's state news agency reported that a draft agreement could be prepared on Wednesday.
The P5+1 nations, which comprise the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, aim to stop Iran from gaining the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb in exchange for easing international sanctions that are crippling its economy.
A senior Iranian negotiator said Tehran was willing to negotiate until the deadlock was resolved.
"Iran does not want a nuclear deal just for the sake of having a deal, and a final deal should guarantee the Iranian nation's nuclear rights," the negotiator, Hamid Baidinejad, told reporters.
|March, 19, 08:19:00|
|March, 19, 08:15:00|
|March, 19, 08:10:00|
|March, 19, 08:05:00|
|March, 19, 08:00:00|
|March, 18, 11:45:00|
PENNENERGY - The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of a concerted, ongoing operation to hack and spy on the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure, and separately imposed sanctions on Russian officials for alleged high-tech interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
IAEA - IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano commended efforts by Pakistan to increase nuclear safety and security as the country works to triple its nuclear power capacity. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi commended the IAEA for the support provided to Pakistan in the use of peaceful nuclear applications. Pakistan “was ready to further strengthen its partnership with the IAEA and contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals worldwide,” the Prime Minister said.
PLATTS - "The increase in competition induced new practices in the market that resulted in imports returning to normal," Petrobras' Jorge Celestino said during a presentation of the company's 2017 financial results.
PLATTS - The objective of this program is to increase its domestic refinery utilization rates to 90% from current levels of 10-20%, Kragha said speaking to Platts in Cape Town on the sidelines of the African Refiner Association conference.