Russia has become the largest foreign investor in Iran, according to an Iranian deputy finance minister who says the country has attracted a significant amount of foreign investment in the past 15 months despite US sanctions that ban countries and entities from engaging in business activity in Iran.
Ali Fekri, who leads the Organization for Investment & Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran, said the Russians had brought some $2.7 billion worth of investment to two petroleum projects in Iran in the past 15 months.
The figure accounts for some 45% of the total foreign investment attracted by Iran over the period, said Fekri.
The official added, however, that Iran was not happy with the amount of investment committed by China for economic and energy projects in Iran in the 15 months to the end of 2022.
“China has invested nearly $185 million in Iran over that period which we are not happy with given the amount of negotiations and meetings we had,” he said.
Fekri said Iran had set a target of $10.2 billion in direct foreign investment for the 15 months to December last year of which some $5.95 billion had entered the country.
He said the figure was much higher than investments that had been attracted by Iran in years that followed the signing of a nuclear agreement between the country and world powers in 2015.
The rise in foreign investment in Iran comes as the country is still under an American regime of sanctions that has banned any investment in Iranian economic and energy projects since 2018.
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