Iran Needs $100b to Revamp Oil Industry

Iran Needs $100b to Revamp Oil IndustryIran Needs $100b to Revamp Oil Industry

Iran needs around $100 billion to bring its oil industry back to its level of five years ago, the country's Industries Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told the Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung in an interview published on Thursday.

At a business conference in Vienna last week, the first such event since this month's nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Iran outlined a pro-market economic policy package designed to win foreign investment, Reuters reported.

Asked about western estimates that Iran needed $300 billion to get its oil industry back to the level it had before sanctions crippled its economy, Nematzadeh was quoted as saying: "This figure is far too high, according to my knowledge. I think that we can make do with around a third of that sum."

Iranian officials last week said the country, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020.

Nematzadeh noted that he expected Iran to rejoin the international electronic payment system SWIFT three months from the moment that sanctions, which were imposed to push Iran to curtail its nuclear program, are "loosened".

Iran and the six powers struck the nuclear deal on July 14 and, if the UN atomic watchdog confirms Tehran is complying with provisions to curb its nuclear activity, sanctions could begin to be removed later this year.