Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh vowed to remove all barriers standing on the way of increasing the country's oil production and exports through using indigenous capacities and private sector investment.
“Production capacity and output are the primary factors that elevate the status of countries in international markets, thus Iran’s oil production capacity must return to the 2005 level in six to seven months,” Zanganeh said on Friday.
He stressed the need for Iran, an influential OPEC member, to boost its crude exports and make a strong return to international oil markets.
Zanganeh also voiced Iran’s willingness to cooperate with any foreign energy firms which could help the country’s oil exploration and extraction.
“There are no limitations in this regard and we will open the country’s market and investment potentials once again to them in a bid to win their cooperation in the new phase of oil industry development,” he noted.
Late in July, former Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said that even though Iran’s oil industry is facing some difficulties due to the sanctions, it has been able to overcome many of them by reliance on domestic capabilities.
On Wednesday, Managing-Director of the Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOEC) Ali Taheri-Motlaq said that Namdar Zanganeh will be able to promote the country's international status.
“Given the huge volume of oil and gas production in Iran and its membership to international bodies and organizations like OPEC and Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the country is required to play a more influential and significant role in these organizations. It will be possible with the presence of Namdar Zanganeh,” Taheri told Shana in an interview.
He described the current status of Iran’s petroleum industry as “critical”, saying, “The Oil Ministry provides resources for the country. Therefore, the familiarity of the new minister with the oil industry is a big advantage.”
He said knowledge and experience are effective factors and that Zanganeh meets the necessary requirements for the post.
“For big contractors operating in South Pars [gas field], a minister who supports and encourages them is important,” said Taheri.
Washington and its western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.
Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.
The Islamic Republic says that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.