Signs are growing that Iran and Russia are preparing for a new era of economic cooperation in which energy – among other sectors - will have a central role.
Iran’s media reported that Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak would visit Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh on Tuesday for talks on ways to expand Iran-Russia energy relations.
This comes at a time that Tehran has already become determined to take its cooperation with Moscow in the area of energy to a new level following the removal of sanctions against Iran earlier this year, ISNA news agency reported.
Novak’s visit to Iran would also follow a recent wave of energy project awards by Iran to global giants such as Total and Shell.
Officials in Tehran had already emphasized that the country was negotiating the development of certain projects to Russia’s Gazprom and Zarubezhneft. It is still not clear if either of the companies would win a deal during Novak’s stay in the Islamic Republic.
Meanwhile, a major Russian trade delegation comprised of around 600 businesspeople and officials would arrive in Iran on Sunday for three days of talks with their Iranian counterparts to explore ways to boost trade relations between the two countries.
The delegation – that has been described as biggest to visit Iran from Russia ever – would comprise representatives from 200 companies active in areas such as energy, agriculture, banking, transportation, education, forestry and aviation.
During his stay in Tehran, Novak will also chair the 13th Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission together with Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi.
The two countries are accordingly expected to sign a series of agreements that include the construction of four units of thermal power plants in Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas.
The current level of trade between the two countries stands at below $2 billion. Both are determined to double this by the end of 2017, IRNA reported.