0352 GMT January 27, 2020
Dozens of European companies have announced readiness to cooperate with Iranian firms in the petroleum industry within the framework of a European trade mechanism, an Iranian official said on Saturday.
Reza Padidar, chairman of the Energy Committee of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, told a news conference in the Iranian capital that those European companies want Iran’s Oil Ministry to provide guarantees for domestic private firms for such cooperation, Tasnim reported.
“In recent years, in the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, we have negotiated with 114 small and medium-sized European companies, of which 32 have finally announced their willingness to cooperate with Iranian companies in the oil industry, but these companies have made a condition,” he said.
“They are ready to cooperate with Iranian companies in the form of INSTEX, if the Oil Ministry guarantees private companies,” the official said, referring to the European financial mechanism meant to circumvent American sanctions.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom launched INSTEX in January as they sought to facilitate trade with Iran after the United States unilaterally withdrew from an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Padidar said the Chamber of Commerce has recently held talks with the Oil Ministry to provide necessary conditions for domestic companies to facilitate Iranian and European oil cooperation.
"The economic structure of the country needs to change due to political and social changes. The first step is identifying the capacities, and after that we need a strategy,” he said.
Padidar said Iran’s first strategy should be aimed at production for the domestic market.
“There are ample capacities in the domestic market, but a significant part of it has been seized by imported commodities, this is while Iran’s domestic demand can be met with domestic capacities,” he said.