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Iranian Oil Minister and Chinese FM discuss expansion of bilateral ties

Beijing, Oct 28, IRNA -- Visiting Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing here on Thursday reviewed issues of mutual interest particularly in the areas of energy, oil and gas.

Referring to Tehran-Beijing relations as friendly, Zanganeh said China is turning into a powerful country in the Asian continent. The phenomenon will save the world from a unipolar system, he added.

No country would ignore China since the country has undergone a very significant economic growth in the world, the Iranian minister reiterated.

As to Iran's huge oil and gas potentials, he said the country produces over four million barrels of oil a day. The figure is to be increased to daily 10 million barrels within the next seven years, Zanganeh noted.

Iran ranked first in the world in oil exploration in the past six years, he said underlining the need for promoting the industry by making more investments in the oil industry in the future.

Welcoming the involvement of Chinese companies in Iran's oil and gas industries, the Iranian minister voiced Tehran's interest to cooperate with friendly countries, including China, in expansion of its oil and gas reserves.

For his part, the Chinese Foreign Minister said Tehran and Beijing enjoy strong diplomatic relations in line with both sides' interest. He called for further expansion of bilateral cooperation in all areas.

Referring to the Islamic Republic as a large country with great oil and gas resources, he stressed Iran plays a key role in the Mideast region.

Referring to the increase in China's energy demand, he said Beijing attaches special importance to cooperation with friendly country, Iran.

Zanganeh, heading a high-ranking oil delegation, arrived here early Thursday on a three-day visit to review expansion of Iran-China cooperation with senior Chinese officials.

During his stay, a contract on long-term purchase of Iran's liquefied natural gas (LNG) by China will be finalized.

Joint ventures in Iran's oil-rich regions and China's oil industry are among other issues to be discussed by the two sides.

Zanganeh conferred with Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai here on Thursday. In the meeting he stressed that Iran has been successful in neutralizing US economic sanctions by attracting foreign investments in its oil and gas industries in the past five years.

He added that the majority of world giant oil companies, except those of the US, are actively participating in Iran's oil and gas industries.

Zanganeh further reiterated that since Iran ranks second in oil production among OPEC members and holds the second largest oil and gas reserves in the world, the Islamic Republic can be considered as a reliable source for China's energy demand, the country which is set to be the biggest oil and gas consumer in the world in the future.

The Iranian minister further announced Tehran's readiness to take part and make investment in Chinese oil and petrochemical industries.

In related developments, Zanganeh conferred with Chinese deputy prime minister this morning.

Expressing his pleasure with the current visit to China of the Iranian delegation, the Chinese official hoped that the visit will lead to further expansion of relations between the two friendly countries.

The Chinese government is determined to expand all-out ties with the Islamic Republic, he added.

... Payvand News - 10/28/04 ... --

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