0706 GMT October 21, 2019
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the deal reached between two government-owned firms, Pars Oil and Gas Company and Petropars, to develop the Belal Gas Field would be the first of many.
"Signing this contract is ... the beginning of a process," Zanganeh said.
"This is a sign that we are still functioning with sanctions at their peak ... We are alive, we are active and working for Iran's oil industry," the Iranian minister said.
He said in addition to Belal Gas Field, Iran plans to begin operation at Farzad B Gas Field this year and resume developing Phase 11 of the South Pars Gas Field.
"Despite US sanctions, the train of the oil industry development has not stopped and the performance of the Ministry of Petroleum is a prime example of the resistance economy," Zanganeh said.
In the future, he added, further contracts will be announced and more projects will be unveiled.
Tensions have soared in the Persian Gulf since May last year when the US began reimposing sanctions on Iran after unilaterally withdrawing from a 2015 deal that put curbs on its nuclear program.
The sanctions, Zanganeh added, "have not been able to stop the progress of Iranian oil industry and its development."
"We don't want to boast, but the United States cannot stop Iranian oil exports."
In April, the US terminated sanction waivers for major buyers of crude from the Islamic Republic in an attempt to bring Iran’s oil exports to “zero.”
The move has sent oil prices soaring to an unprecedented level since November 2018 , drawing harsh criticisms from the main customers of Iranian oil.
The Belal Gas Field is located 90 kilometers south of Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf.
The field, shared with Qatar, straddles the maritime boundary between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf.
The deal aims to reach a production rate of 500 million cubic feet of gas per day over a 34-month period.
AFP, Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.