Over 100 European SMEs eye Iran oil: CEO of SIPIEM

TEHRAN, May 29 (MNA) – Reza Khayamian, CEO of SIPIEM, said 110 European SMEs were ready to operate oil and gas projects in Iran despite US sanctions.

“The Europeans’ participation in the petroleum industry development projects needs the full launch of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) between Iran and Europe,” Iran Petroleum quoted him as saying on the sidelines of the 15th Kish International Energy Exhibition that was recently held on the Iranian island.

The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), EU's special payment channel with Iran and originally referred to as SPV, was announced by the EU in January to secure trade with Iran and skirt US anti-Iran sanctions after Washington pulled out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) in May 2018.

Iran in turn has set up a matching channel called Special Trade and Finance Instrument (STFI). The Islamic Republic had given about a year to Europeans to implement the mechanism, and now expects them to implement the arrangement. The mechanism, which will deal essentially with food and medical trade, is struggling to become operational.

Referring to US unlawful and unilateral sanctions on Iran, CEO of Society of Iranian Petroleum Industry Equipment Manufacturers (SIPIEM), Reza Khayamian said, “definitely, major oil companies like Shell, Total and BP, whose stocks are held by American companies, could not easily work in Iran amid US sanctions. Therefore, Iran’s oil and gas industry should not depend on major international companies.”

“The best thing we can currently do and for which a proposal has been submitted to the presidential office is to let Iranian and European SMEs jointly operate oil and gas projects,” Khayamian said.

“Talks have already been held with the European Union’s Energy Commissioner. Once the EU’s trade mechanism has been launched, European SMEs with no interest in the US would be ready to invest in Iran’s oil and gas projects. Big companies can place orders with SMEs and we can directly engage with small-sized companies,” he added.

MNA/SHANA

News Code 145831

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