Iran MPs demand trial of officials implicated in gas case

253 Iranian lawmakers have sent a letter to Iran’s Judiciary chief to investigate a corruption case in a deal for exporting gas from Iran to the United Arab Emirates.

The deal dates back to the presidency of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami 19 years ago. 

The lawmakers called for holding accountable those involved in the case known as the “Crescent contract”. The letter said the gas deal between the “invalid” company and Khatami’s Oil Ministry constituted widespread corruption between the unreliable Crescent Company and some Iranian oil and non-oil officials. According to the letter, the deal was invalid from the beginning due to being corrupt and lacking relevant licenses.

The Iranian lawmakers added that due to the Crescent contract, Iran was deprived of billions of dollars in gas extraction from a joint gas field with the UAE. 

The MPs said despite the transfer of Iran’s gas share from the joint field to the UAE, the Crescent Company filed a lawsuit in the Arbitration Court and the National Iranian Oil Company was convicted of violating the contract in 2014 and recently was sentenced to pay damages with the end of the twelfth government. 

The Crescent contract was signed between the NIOC and Crescent Inc. during the tenure of former oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. Initial negotiations began in 1997 and eventually led to the signing of the joint memorandum of understanding in 2001. Iranian officials now say the price of Iranian gas exports was next to nothing under the contract

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