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25 May 12. Research and Markets announced the addition of the “Iran Defence and Security Report Q3 2012” report to their offering. Business Monitor International’s Iran Defence and Security Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, defence and security associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Iran’s defence and security industry. By the end of March 2012 it was still unclear whether the crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme would reach a diplomatic or military conclusion. Having just held talks with the US president, Barack Obama, at the Seoul Nuclear Summit, the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Tehran in late March for meetings with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His trip was interpreted as preparation for a make-or-break mid- April summit, possibly to be held in Istanbul, involving Iran and the group of countries known as the P5 1: China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US. Erdogan’s intervention was seen as critical because he shares some common ground with those on both sides of the argument, and is therefore someone who could help broker a peaceful solution. The summit could offer Iran a diplomatic lifeline, as sanctions begin to ramp up pressure on its economy and Israel makes preparations to launch military action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iranian oil exports fell in March, and Chinese purchases declined significantly (due to a pricing dispute, rather than any Chinese decision to fall in line with Western sanctions). With EU imports also set to drop off over the next few months as sanctions kick in, Iran faces a very tough economic outlook unless it can reach a deal. However, there was some good news for Iran in late March when the US decided to exempt 10 EU countries and Japan, which had already reduced their imports, from the sanctions. Parliamentary elections in March appeared to pile more political pressure on Ahmadinejad, whose party failed to win a majority and whose sister suffered defeat in her electoral constituency. However, it was unclear how successful an opposition call for voters to boycott the election had actually proved, with no independent verification of the turnout available. In February Ahmadinejad announced that he was more than doubling the country’s defence budget by ordering a 127% increase, although he did not disclose Tehran’s current level of defence spending. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

22 May 12. In a new study, “The Market for Civil & Commercial Remote Sensing Satellites,” Forecast International projects that the worldwide civil and commercial remote sensing satellite market will be worth $17bn over the 2012-2021 timeframe. Over that period, some 108 remote sensing satellites will be produced. Demand for remote sensing satellite data continues to increase. According to aerospace systems analyst William Ostrove, the study’s author, “The demand for image data will drive a need for satellites to provide that data.” The study points out that governments remain the most important buyers of data; however, commercial uses are on the rise. Forecast International’s study covers satellites operated by civil government agencies as well as commercial companies. Data from these satellites are available for both government and private use. Militaries remain the most important users of satellite imagery. Ostrove notes, “During the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the successes of space-based imagery accentuated the necessity of these systems in establishing situational awareness on the battlefield.” The primary advantage of satellites to military planners is their ability to pass over areas where aircraft are restricted from flying. Even commercial satellite operators play a vital role in

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