Friday, June 24, 2011

Iran, Russia discuss bilateral energy ties

A view of Moscow International Oil and Gas Exhibition (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Iranian and Russian officials have held a meeting on the sidelines of 11th International Oil and Gas exhibition in Moscow to discuss ways to expand energy cooperation.

The visiting Iranian delegation, including lawmakers and energy officials, and the Russian authorities stressed on expansion of joint investment and cooperation in oil and gas sectors of both countries, IRIB reported.

"Russian companies are eager to invest in Iran's oil and gas projects and that Russia will be a reliable partner for Iran in its oil and gas fields," said Talyat Aliev, the deputy director of International Department of Russian Energy Ministry.

He noted that the two countries are cooperating in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

The Russian officials also criticized the US-led unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran over its civilian nuclear activities, IRIB reported.

Western powers -- led by the United States -- have been making attempts to cripple Iran's energy sector in a bid to dissuade it from carrying on with its peaceful nuclear program.

On June 9, 2010, the UN Security Council approved a US-engineered resolution imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Iran, particularly targeting its energy and financial sectors over unverified allegations that the country is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Shortly after the UN sanctions, the US imposed fresh unilateral sanctions against Iran's financial and energy sectors, and then pressured the EU, Japan, Canada, and Australia to impose similar sanctions on Tehran.

"We are ready to expand our cooperation in Iran's oil and gas fields by removing the obstacles," Aliev said.

Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Karim Shahrzad also said that the Moscow exhibition "is a good opportunity" for development of Iran-Russia energy cooperation.

More than thousand companies from Russia and 36 other countries are taking part in the 11th International Oil and Gas exhibition in Moscow which was opened on Tuesday.

Iran, which is the world's fourth largest oil producer, sites on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.

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