Iran has started talks with world oil giants in a bid to persuade them to run energy projects in the Islamic Republic, deputy oil minister for international and trade affairs says. “Negotiations have started with major international oil and gas companies, but these negotiations will not conclude overnight,” Mehr News Agency quoted Mansour Moazzami as saying on Sunday.
“The Oil Ministry and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have no problem with American oil companies,” he said, adding, “There are no restrictions for foreign partnership in [Iran’s] petroleum industry. Iran welcomes any oil cooperation even with American companies based on a win-win contract.”The official stated that numerous foreign companies have shown willingness to return to Iran’s oil sector over the past weeks due to improvement in Iran’s foreign relations. Moazzami’s remarks come less than a week after French energy giant, Total, said it is waiting for the US-led sanctions against Iran to be lifted in order to resume operations in Iran.
Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie voiced interest in long-term investment in Iran, saying, “We like to be a long-term partner and we have long-term vision when we are doing long-term deals.”The remarks by Total boss come as the prospect of relative improvement in Tehran-Washington relations is on the rise. At the beginning of 2012, the United States 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. KA/HGH/SS