Oil minister:

Iran-Russia coop. to contribute to regional states’ progress

Iran’s oil minister on Thursday said that Tehran-Moscow cooperation paves the way for the progress of not only the two countries but also regional states.

Iran-Russia coop. to contribute to regional states’ progress

MEHR: Iran’s oil minister on Thursday said that Tehran-Moscow cooperation paves the way for the progress of not only the two countries but also regional states.

Javad Owji, who addressed a specialized session of the 6th Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, added that a historic opportunity has been created for Iran and Russia and the two sides have become closer than ever.

Pointing to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent remarks on Tehran-Moscow's satisfactory relations and efforts for enhancing bilateral ties, the minister continued, “The Russian Energy Week (REW) 2023 has provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the development of energy industry, challenges we are and will be faced with, obstacles we have removed, and successes we will achieve through making bilateral and multilateral efforts.

“I, as the head of the Iranian party to the Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission, not only make every effort to promote strategic cooperation in various energy fields, but also support cooperation between all ministries, organizations, and companies of Iran and Russia, Shana reported.

“I am convinced if all of us make greater efforts, the pace of cooperation will be quickened. It is no exaggeration to say that unfair sanctions against Iran and Russia have caused the two countries to make progress in many areas.”

New order in Iran-Russia economic interactions

Owji said, “We consider sanctions as a big and historic opportunity to get closer in all dimensions. We have to seize these opportunities and create a new order in economic interactions. The Russian Energy Week is one of these opportunities, which we hope helps us get the desired results.

“All these achievements have been made despite intensified brutal sanctions and maximum pressure. We have managed to overcome these problems with our faith in Almighty God, self-reliance, and innovation.”

The sanctions have failed to prevent Iran’s economic progress, pointed out the minister, adding the country’s oil and gas industry has witnessed a 19.8 percent economic growth in spring 2023.

Iran can play role of energy hub

Iran is the safest and cheapest route for energy transit to international waters, said Owji, underlining that the global energy market cannot deny Iran’s key role.

In addition to its rich energy resources, Iran is located at a suitable geographic position, the point connecting Asia to Europe and the only land route between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, stated the minister, adding some countries around Iran are oil and gas exporters and some importers, and such conditions make it easier for Iran to play the role of an energy hub.

Considering its natural resources and northern neighbors, Iran is the leading player in energy trade in the Middle East and can turn into a gas hub, noted Owji.

Iran is currently exporting gas to Türkiye and Iraq, he said and continued Pakistan and India are potential customers of Iran’s gas.

Trading and swapping crude oil, oil products, and petrochemicals have given Iran a special status, he mentioned.

Import and export terminals as well as oil and gas transmission pipelines are indicative of Iran’s great capacity for turning into the region’s energy hub.

Global stability through Iran-Russia cooperation

The advantages of cooperation between Iran and Russia are not limited to economic benefits as their relations develop mutual understanding, which can lead to stability in the region and the world and pave the way for further cooperation in other areas, Owji said.

Free and apolitical investment and joint utilization of technology for the development of the two countries’ resources are a necessity and should be put on their agendas for boosting bilateral relations.

Iran has 15 neighboring states, out of which 12 are holders of oil and gas reserves, mentioned the minister, adding, “Having a 1,880km maritime boundary, Iran is connected to high seas via the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf –  an advantage many oil-producing countries lack while they really need it for exporting their crude and oil products.

Oil trade depoliticization a must

Given its rich resources, geoeconomic and geopolitical advantages, and other factors such as plenty of experts, cheap feedstock, supply security, and technical know-how, Iran has become an attractive country for investment in oil and gas projects, Owji said.

The minister called for foreign investors to participate in Iran’s oil and gas projects, describing his country’s contracts as attractive.

“Private and public companies’ participation, if accompanied by governments’ commitments, can help finally overcome existing challenges and promote the welfare of our peoples,” he pointed out.

Global security is improved as much as the world manages to depoliticize the global energy market, particularly the oil market, opined Owji, concluding that international oil and gas trade should be free of political relations.