Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has hit back at the legislators who have expressed their opposition to a contract recently signed by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the French energy giant Total to develop one of the phases of Iran’s South Pars Gas Field.
Speaking on the parliament floor on Wednesday, the minister said he respects the opinion of the MPs who believe such agreements are against the Constitution, but “the regulations allow me to sign contracts.”
“They say instead of Total, you should sign contracts with a company which has a good reputation,” he said.
“All right, you name a couple of companies with a good reputation!”
“If we sign a contract with [a company from] Britain, they term it (the UK) the old fox,” he said, noting that their reaction is the same in case of making deals with France and the US.
He then took a swipe at the lawmakers who ‘say they agree with foreign investment in the country, but in practice show the opposite.’
“If you are against foreign investment, say it loud and clear,” Zaganeh said critically.
The oil minister also blasted the lawmakers who claim Total has been bribed.
“If you have documents [to prove that Total has received bribes] give them to the Judiciary to find the company guilty and ban it from signing contracts,” he said.
“Without an injunction, I cannot stop signing deals,” the minister underlined.
He also underscored that the presence of companies such as Total in Iran will prevent the imposition of sanctions on the country because if bans are slapped on Iran, it will be to their detriment.