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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iran's Zangeneh impatient for removal of sanctions

Iran Press TV

Fri Apr 3, 2015 12:55PM

The prospects for Iran to return to the global oil market thanks to the success in Lausanne talks with P5+1 appear to have already made officials in Tehran look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said on Friday he hoped that what Iran and P5+1 have agreed on in Lausanne would become operational in the near future.

"The efforts by [Iran's] team of nuclear negotiators are praiseworthy," said Zanganeh, a veteran heavyweight minister who has spent most of his career in high offices of Iran's industrial-related institutions.

"I hope what has been agreed on in [Lausanne] talks become operational as soon as possible".

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries along with senior officials of the European Union have held intense talks in Lausanne for eight days. The talks were meant to narrow differences on Tehran's nuclear energy activities.

The talks culminated in a joint statement in which the sides said they had reached mutual understanding over Iran's nuclear program and will work to draw up a final accord by the end of the self-designated June 30 deadline. A key aspect of the accord will be the removal of a series of US-led economic sanctions on the country.

Oil provides the lifeline of the Iranian economy. The country produced about 2.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) of oil before US-led sanctions that banned foreign investment in its energy projects lowered this to about 1 mbpd as of 2010. The sanctions also banned Iran's oil sales to the market beyond the same 1 mbpd it produced.

Nevertheless, Iran has been able to generate enough oil revenues to keep the economy floating over the past few years since the appointment of Zangeneh as minister in 2013. The country has even been able to produce enough natural gas so as to not only satisfy domestic demand but also move ahead toward plans for exports that had been abandoned during the previous administration. Analysts agree that these have not been possible without Zangeneh.

Many are expecting international oil majors that left Iran due to the sanctions to be already preparing for a much-awaited return to the Iranian market. This, however, will still be impossible as long as disputes with P5+1 over Iran's nuclear energy program remain.

Nevertheless, once Iran and P5+1 succeed in resolving the Iranian nuclear energy case – what could end years of sanctions on the country – the companies will not have a second to lose in the race back to the country's oil-sector projects, as well as those in other sectors. And a look at Zangeneh's short comments may have already made it clear that the veteran minister can simply not wait to see that happen.

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