Tue Aug 29, 2017 06:10PM
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh

Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh says every new agreement with a foreign company over the development of the country’s oil and gas projects shows that US policies against the Islamic Republic are already failing. 

Zanganeh said it was the priority of the Ministry of Petroleum to expedite the proceedings to sign new oil and gas agreements with international contractors as a tactic to defuse US pressures against Iran.   

He said another policy that his Ministry was pursuing was diversifying the range of contractors – what he said would help protect the country’s oil industry against US pressures.   

“We should not rely only on Europe,” Zanganeh was quoted as telling Iran’s IRNA news agency in an interview. “Diversifying contractors would provide a safe protection to Iran’s oil industry.” 

In early July, Iran awarded a contract to a consortium led by French energy giant Total over the development of Phase 11 of South Pars.

Based on the deal, Total would invest an initial $1 billion in the project which it would carry out together with China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars.  

It was seen as the biggest vote of confidence in the Islamic republic since sanctions were lifted against the country under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zanganeh said the US-led sanctions had created numerous problems for Iran’s oil and gas projects. 

He added that Iran needed to take concrete measures to facilitate investments in its oil and gas projects, specifically those located in areas bordering Iraq. 

Devising a new generation of oil contracts, Zanganeh emphasized, was a significant step in the same direction.