22 May 2007 - 11:42
  • News Code: 105268
Iran Grants Belarus Oil Reserve Access

TEHRAN -- Iran granted Belarus greater access to oil reserves as the presidents of the countries met Monday to cement what the Belarusian leader called a "strategic partnership."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the start of a two-day visit to this former Soviet republic, hailed the "huge potential" for cooperation between the two nations.

"The strengthening of relations between Belarus and Iran fosters support for regional and global security," Ahmadinejad said in televised comments.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said his country is "ready for cooperation in all directions."

"Relations between Belarus and Iran have reached the level of strategic partnership," he said, according to the dispatches.


Underscoring that partnership, Iran granted Belarus long-discussed access to the Jofeir oil field, which sits near the border with Iraq and could produce up to 30,000 barrels a day once operational, according to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

The two sides also "emphasized the necessity of developing mutual cooperation in different sectors of the oil-gas industry, creating an oil-refinery facility, developing oil and gas fields, and building an underground natural gas storage facility in Iran," according to a joint statement released after the two leaders met.

Lukashenko said the crude from Jofeir would be either be refined in Iran or simply extracted by Belarus and sold on world markets.

"Our specialists have researched (the field) and are prepared today to extract oil on Iranian territory," he said.



News Code 105268

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