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Iran Sees Potential for Partnership With US Companies

Iran Sees Potential for Partnership With US CompaniesIran Sees Potential for Partnership With US Companies

Tehran is sending the signal that it is open to cooperate with US companies in its key petroleum industry even under the new US President Donald Trump's administration.

"We see a lot of indication that there is a departure in the current (US) administration and we do not see a conflict coming up," Amirhossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for international affairs, told CNN in a video interview in his office in Tehran.

"We would very much like to see the primary sanctions lifted and we think that there is a great potential for President Trump as a non-conventional politician to review and revise the situation," Zamaninia said.

Despite the lifting of most international financial and trade sanctions against Tehran in Jan. 2016, the so-called primary US sanctions are still in place, barring direct or indirect trade between Iranian and American individuals or entities.

The official added that rekindling trade relations with Iran would be "a great benefit for the American people, for creating jobs there in the US, for revitalizing the oil and gas business there … there are great potentials for engagement and partnership in Iran for American companies."

Iranian officials have reiterated in the past that Tehran has no constraint in doing business with US-based companies, stressing that restrictions imposed by Washington are holding back American companies from lucrative investment opportunities in Iran's economy and energy sectors. 

Zamaninia also said that Iran should and will pump more crude oil and natural gas than its current output levels.

"We have the largest reserves of hydrocarbons in the world, oil and gas put together. As a country that has the largest reserves, we do not produce nearly enough compared to others," the deputy oil minister noted.

"The potential is great, the cost for production is low in Iran. The question is not just the potential to produce, it is also the dynamics of the international markets in the oil and gas business."

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