Source: Press TV
A senior Iranian energy official sees "a great potential for engagement and
partnership in Iran for American companies" under US President Donald Trump.
Trump, a property magnate who took office on Friday, has called the 2015 nuclear
accord with Iran "the worst deal ever negotiated" and threatened to annul or
renegotiate it - a scenario which Tehran has squarely rejected.
"As an oil and gas official, I certainly hope that we can decouple politics
from economic cooperation," Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia has
Zamaninia said he saw signs that the new American administration had distanced itself from previous pledges as the official also dismissed the idea of a conflict between Iran and the US.
"I don't foresee a conflict. We see a lot of indication that there is a departure in the (Trump) administration from the campaign slogans and we don't see a conflict coming up," he said.
Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Washington agreed to lift "secondary sanctions" related to Iran's nuclear program but its "primary sanctions" linked to terrorism and human rights allegations still remain in place.
The opaque nature of what is legal or illegal in trade with Iran has made Western banks and many other businesses adopt a wait-and-see approach toward the Islamic Republic and refrain from engaging with the country.
Zamaninia said, "I would very much like to see the primary sanctions lifted and we think that there is a great potential for Trump as a non-conventional politician to review and revise this situation."
Trump, the Iranian deputy oil minister said, has "to see that there is a great benefit for the United States, for American people, for creating jobs in the United States, and for revising and revitalizing the oil and gas business" there.
"There is a great potential for engagement and partnership in Iran for American companies," he added.
Zamaninia touted Iran's "largest reserves of hydrocarbons in the world, oil and gas put together," saying the country does not produce "nearly enough compared to others."
"Therefore, our production is negatively skewed with our reserves. The potential is great; the cost for production is low in Iran," he said, adding Iran nevertheless had to take other factors into account in its production.
"The question is not just the potential to produce. It is also the dynamic of the international market, the international oil and gas business."
Iran has ramped up oil production and more than doubled exports over the past year, reviving its market in Europe and elsewhere which it had lost under sanctions. The country is currently producing close to pre-sanction levels of about 4 million barrels per day.
The National Iranian Oil Company recently shortlisted 29 foreign companies to take part in oil and gas tenders as the country seeks to put its energy industry on a strong footing with an investment estimated at $200 billion.
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