4 January 2022 - 15:31
  • News Code: 451409
Iran Welcomes Cooperation with Persian Gulf States: Official

TEHRAN (Shana) -- The Deputy Minister of Petroleum for International Affairs and Trading said: "Sanctions as a disturbing variable are not ineffective in our cooperation, but in the years after the revolution we have had many disturbances and relying on rich domestic capabilities can turn these threats into opportunities and force the enemy to regret their threats.”

In the third installment of his conversation with Shana, Ahmad Asadzadeh, the Deputy Minister of Petroleum for International Affairs and Trading, outlined the latest status of the Iranian gas export contracts to Iraq and Pakistan and listed Iran's conditions for cooperation with Europe in gas exports.

"Oil exports have fortunately gained serious momentum with the efforts of our friends in the sales sector, and markets that were not even thought of before are opening, and the result is that the Ministry of Petroleum in the first eight months of the current calendar year, which began on March 21 has delivered more than the amount promised in the hard currency budget to the state treasury, and God willing, this process will be strengthened by the Minister of Petroleum and the powerful sales team of the Ministry.”

US followers have not yet been able to find alternatives to Iranian gas condensate

The issue of Iranian gas exports to Europe has been gradually raised in Iran since the early 2000s, and has always been one of the issues negotiated with European countries in various governments. Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, etc. have always wanted Iranian gas, but these negotiations never led to a contract and Iranian gas did not reach Europe.

"Our focus is on cooperating with our neighbors, we have so many opportunities between our neighbors that Europe is our next priority, but if the Europeans are interested, we can meet their needs," said the official. “This requires that Europeans exercise their voting independence and not follow the United States.”

Asadzadeh said: "The United States created a precedence by boycotting commercial companies, and unfortunately the Europeans followed it and were harmed by its ramifications, inasmuch as they have not been able to find alternatives to Iranian gas condensate.”

He noted: "We used to exercise good cooperation with European countries that can continue, of course, it should also be noted that we would undoubtedly prioritize our economic partners who continued their cooperation with us under the sanctions.”  

Serious and Honest Work Welcomed

Regarding relations with neighboring countries, the Deputy Minister of Petroleum stated that the Ministry of Petroleum is fully prepared to cooperate with countries in the region and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and some of these countries have recently shown a positive and constructive approach that “we welcome at the Ministry of Petroleum.” Many of these countries need gas, and we have good gas resources in the Persian Gulf, which we can do well with constructive, forward-looking cooperation and a win-win formula. “We, at the International Department of the Ministry of Petroleum are examining the scenarios of cooperation with these countries and we welcome serious and honest work.”

“The friendly and brotherly country of Iraq should try to pay for the exported gas on time,” he said.

Iran has two gas contracts with Iraq. The first is the gas export contract to Baghdad, which was signed in 2013, and the second one is the gas export contract to Basra, which was signed in 2015. Both contracts are operational and the country is a customer of Iranian gas, but the time for the completion of the contract for the export of Iranian gas to Iraq is near.

Regarding cooperation with Iraq, Asadzadeh said: "Good plans have been prepared for Iraq at the Ministry of Petroleum, which, God willing, will be operational soon. This field is so important that a special envoy has been appointed to pursue the avenues of cooperation with Iraq. One of the pillars of cooperation is the issue of gas.”

Regarding extension of the gas export contract to Iraq, he stated that Iraq is in great need of gas and plans are being made to negotiate and extend this contract: “Of course, the friendly and brotherly country of Iraq should try to settle the gas export dues on time. On the other hand, the National Iranian Gas Company is doing its best to export gas to that country in the amount stipulated in the contract and in agreement with the Iraqi side.”

"We also have joint fields with Iraq, which is an opportunity for economic ties between the two countries," said the official. “In this department, good studies have been carried out in the field of integration of joint fields with Iraq, which unfortunately was not implemented under the previous two administrations. I will not go into the reasons for this, which is a detailed story, but in short, doing so requires the serious will of both Iran and Iraq. We can cooperate with Iraq in the export of technical and engineering services and repair of oil equipment and goods, and many other areas.”

What safer partner for Pakistan than Iran...

The contract for the export of Iranian gas to Pakistan was signed in June 2009 and less than 20 days before the 10th presidential election (June 12, 2009) in the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the then President of Iran, and Asif Ali Zardari, his Pakistani counterpart. The day the agreement was signed, more than two decades had passed since Iran began negotiations to export gas to India and Pakistan through the Peace Pipeline. Four years after signing the agreement and four months before the 11th Iranian presidential election, on March 12, 2013, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asef Ali Zardari met in Chabahar and at the zero point of the border, broke the grounds for start of the project while Iran had already built 1,100 km of the 56-inch pipeline from Asaluyeh to Iranshahr.

Regarding Iran's gas exports to Pakistan, Asadzadeh said: “Although Iran showed its determination to export gas to Pakistan by constructing 1,100 km of the pipeline, the Pakistani side under pressure from the United States and some regional competitors of Iran under the pretext of not having the required finances pulled back; a pretext that was endorsed by the 12th and 13th administrations in Iran and the Pakistani market was overtaken by liquefied natural gas (LNG). In effect, Pakistan had the wherewithal to buy LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) but in the case of Iran, it was sometimes said that the country did not have any money for the take or pay clause of the gas deal with Iran.”

"We are trying to reach a formula with Pakistan to revive this agreement. We can conclude a contract for the export of Iranian gas to Pakistan by signing a multilateral agreement between Iran, Pakistan and third and fourth countries, and break the lock on this route to be a good platform to mobilize a number of other projects with Pakistan. Pakistan needs a lot of fuel and what a more reliable partner than Iran,” he said.

"We can barter with Pakistan," said the deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and trading. “Large quantities of fuel are now smuggled into the country and the profits go to the smugglers. It seems that it is possible that by designing some projects in the border strip, the profit of product production will reach the border residents and smuggling will be controlled. The same is true of Afghanistan, although the current situation in that country is special.”

“We had a lot of trouble after the revolution”

Asadzadeh touched on the role of sanctions in extending gas contracts and how Iran cooperates with the world: "Sanctions as a disturbing variable are not ineffective in our cooperation, but in the years after the revolution we have had many disturbances and relying on rich domestic capacity, these threats can be turned into opportunities and force the enemies to regret what they had done.”

He added: "In the oil industry and in the country as a whole, according to the Supreme Leader, we must follow the strategy of neutralizing sanctions, and we have seen in recent years that wherever the country reaches a capability, these enemies themselves took the initiative to cooperate in order to stop us because they are well aware that if the country's internal capacity is fully activated, they can no longer contain Iran as they say.”

We have a plan to cooperate with the axis countries of the resistance

"Unfortunately, there was a bad opportunity for the South American market under the previous administration, and cooperation with these countries will be compensated, and good agreements have been reached with some countries in the region, the effects of which will soon be manifested," he added.

Asadzadeh also touched on cooperation with Syria: "We plan to expand cooperation with Syria and all the countries of the resistance axis. Insha'Allah, we plan to bolter our ties with the Syrians. A delegation from the Ministry of Petroleum has recently been sent to Syria to review and prepare a new round of cooperation.”

News Code 451409

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