Russian officials have officially expressed their intention to make a $50 billion investment in Iran’s oil industry, a media report says.
With just five months left to the imposition of the new round of the US sanctions on Iran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, a number of foreign companies have already decided to stop their operation in Iran.
But, according to the report by Fars News Agency, there are many other companies including Russian and Chinese firms which have announced their preparedness to replace European companies which have decided to leave Iran for fear of the US sanctions.
The report says relying on foreign firms particularly the European ones like BP and Total with their huge economic dependence on the US is not a logical option because as the recent case of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA showed they will leave their projects in Iran unfinished without any hesitation.
So far, Russia’s Gazprom has expressed its interest in launching projects in Azar and Changoole gas fields in Iran. The report said, Iran and Russia have already begun their talks on the new projects.
Out of 19 memorandums of understandings signed between Iran and foreign companies in oil industry in the wake of the JCPOA implementation in 2016, Russian firms are directly involved in 12 MoUs and indirectly involved in the remaining deals.
Experts say Russian firms will continue their operation in Iran even under the US sanctions, adding the Russian firms have nothing to lose because they are already under the US sanctions.
Iran-Russia trade volume stands at $2bn but the figure could increase considerably in the near future, the experts predicted.
As the history of the past four decades show, Asian and non-European companies are more reliable partners when it comes to long-term investments in Iran.