LATEST: Supreme Leader — God and Iranians Loved Khomeini…& They Love Me

India has dented Iran’s hope for a recovery in its exports of oil — down more than 40% since 2012 — with one of its largest refiners replacing Iranian supplies with those from Iraq.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), India’s second-largest buyer of Iranian oil in 2014, confirmed that it has purchased its first cargo of Basra Light from Baghdad.

Indian media said that domestic refiners such as Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals were ‘informally asked’ by the Indian Government to cut purchases from Iran, as they were at the limit of US-led sanctions. The reports confirmed recent indications that New Delhi would pull back increased oil imports in 2014, following sharp drops in 2012 and 2013.

Iranian State media have been featuring summaries that Chinese and Indian recoveries in purchases had raised exports to Asia by 20% in 2014, with China’s imports at their highest level since 2011. However, this morning Press TV is tipping off concern with its prominent display of the MRPL decision.

Iran exported about 1.4 million barrels per day in 2014, compared to 2.2 million barrels per day before US and European sanctions were toughened in 2012.

The problems for Tehran have been compounded by a fall of more than 60% in the global oil price since June.

Insurgents: We Will Trade Captured Iranian For Women in Syrian Prisons

Syria’s insurgent bloc Levant (Sham) Front said on Monday that they will trade a captured Iranian fighter for women held in Syrian regime prisons.

Abu Ahmad of the Front said the 30-year-old Iranian, from the holy city of Qom, was captured as he fought alongside regime forces during an insurgent advance in Daraa Province in southern Syria. The man was captured as the opposition took over a power station near Sheikh Maskin on the main highway from Damascus to the Jordanian border.

“We are questioning him on how Iranians operate in Syria. Our priority right now is a swap for our prisoners. We have so many women in government prisons and we want to swap him for [some of] them,” Abu Ahmed said.

An “Iranian informed source” told the Iranian Student News Agency, “The report is absolutely unfounded.”

(Cross-posted from Syria Daily)

Supreme Leader: God and Iranians Loved Khomeini…& They Love Me

Monday’s PR highlight came from the Supreme Leader’s office, which invoked the support of God and Iranians both for the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, and for Ayatollah Khamenei: