Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has rebuffed rumors of any agreement with Russia to buy Iran oil, after media reports of a $20 billion trade deal reportedly made to help both countries get around the Western sanctions.
“There is not any restriction to sell our oil, but rumors about the signature of a contract with Russia for selling Iran’s oil are not true,” Zanganeh said.
He added that his meeting with Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister, was about an agreement to develop economical, technical and trade ties between two sides.
According to information found on the Russian Energy Ministry’s website, the document signed last week between the two countries, both hit by Western Sanctions, envisages the expansion of trade and economic cooperation in several areas, particularly in the fields of construction and reconstruction of power generating capacity, the development of the grid infrastructure, oil and gas industry, as well as in the supply of machinery, equipment, consumer goods and agricultural products.
The next meeting between Russian and Iranian representatives is scheduled in Tehran for September 9, with the to define specific steps to implement plans aimed at the development of trade between Russia and Iran.
South Pars going ahead
Zanganeh also explained about Iran plans to raise its oil production by 700,000 b/d over the coming three years as part of the government plan to push the country out of recession.
He said that Iran will start developing Phase 11 of the South Pars offshore field, shared with Qatar, even if the Western governments do not lift sanctions to allow foreign companies to return to Iran.