The Norwegian Ambassador to Iran says his country is ready to enhance its energy ties with the Islamic Republic. Jens Petter Kjemprud made the remark during a meeting with Eshaq Rouyvar, the director of public relations of Iran's Oil Ministry, in Tehran on Tuesday, the ministry's official news agency, SHANA, reported on Sunday.
The Norwegian ambassador said his country is keen to expand relations with the Islamic Republic especially in the oil sector.Rouyvar explained Iran's capabilities in the fields of technology and human resources in the oil industry, and invited Kjemprud to visit the industrial city of Asalouyeh in the southern Iranian province of Bushehr. Assalouyeh is home to the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone, which was established in 1998 for the utilization of South Pars oil and gas resources. Kjemprud also invited Rouyvar to Norway for a visit to facilities of the Scandinavian country’s energy industry. On January 6, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said foreign investment in Iran’s upstream oil sector has climbed to 20 billion dollars. The oil minister added that necessary funds for investment in the shared oil fields were provided from available resources, buyback deals with foreign countries, and private sector firms. Iran's crude oil is the target of sanctions by the US and the EU. At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production. NT/MA