Russia ready to invest up to $50bn in Iran’s oil sector

TEHRAN, Jul. 12 (MNA) – Oil cooperation between and Russia can be boosted to some $50 billion and Moscow has expressed readiness to make this investment, said Iranian Leader's senior adviser Ali Akbar Velayati on Thursday.

He made the remarks during a live interview with Iran’s state TV on Thursday noon.

Referring to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier today, Velayati said that the message of Iran’s Leader and president was delivered to the Russian official.

“The meeting lasted for some two hours and it was very constructive, clear and friendly,” he noted, adding, “we talked about topics of mutual interest.”

President Putin highlighted that the volume of trade between the two countries have increased by 36 percent in the first four months of 2018, Velayati added.

The Iranian official went on to say that a $4-billion oil deal with a major Russian firm will become operational in the near future.

Two other major Russian oil companies have also made initial sign contracts with Iran which would be worth $10 billion, he added.

Mr. Putin’s reports in the meeting demonstrated that Iran-Russia oil cooperation can be developed to some $50 billion which is a considerable volume, he said, adding that Russia can appropriately replace Western companies which have left Iran due to US sanctions.

Touching upon nuclear cooperation, Velayati said that a 1000-MW reactor have been established in Iran with the help of Russia and two other reactors are under construction.

He has also proposed that Russia build some 100-MW and 35-MW power stations in the southern regions of Iran, particularly in Makran coastal strip, and also to share the required technology so that Atomic Energy Organization of Iran can build further such reactors to fulfill the water and energy requirements of the region.

Both Iran and Russia expressed satisfaction regarding increased rail cooperation, he said, adding that the operation of electrifying Garmsar-Incheh Borun rail route kicked off some 10 day ago by Russian investment.

President Putin has expressed readiness to further invest in Iran’s rail sector while giving a special attention to North to South corridor which will connect Russia’s St. Petersburg to Iran’s Chabahar. This rail route can save 40 percent in time and cost of shipping to Southeast Asia, he added.

Elsewhere, Velayati said that both Iran and Russia highlighted the need to continue cooperation in the region to support the legitimate governments of Iraq and Syria; President Putin agrees that this cooperation should continue in both the defense and the political sphere, he added.

Both countries emphasized continuation of Astana talks between Iran, Russia and Turkey, he said.

Velayati further quoted Putin as saying that “we don’t accept the sanctions imposed by the United States and others against Iran. Sanctions which are not passed by UN Security Council cannot be accepted and we will not adhere to it.”

MAH/4344879

News Code 135620

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