While Iranian MPs have criticized the new oil agreement signed by the Ministry of Oil as “moves against national interests”, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh insists these agreements will attract foreign investment in Iran that will also benefit domestic businesses.
The Fars news agency reports that Tehran MP Ahmad Tavakoli told Parliament on Sunday November 29 that the government has handed over all oil and gas projects to foreigners.
He said “the new style is to get foreign investment in oil projects and create legal obstacles for investment by the private sector”.
He insisted that the new agreements are “in many cases against national interest and the situation for domestic oil companies and could lead to serious economic loss”.
In the past, Iran used foreign investors in oil projects only for the development stage, but under the new agreements, foreign companies are being provided with final ownership of up to 50 percent.
The oil ministry insists, however, that the new agreements are developed to attract foreign investment, adding: “Iranian companies know that when investment is secured, 60 percent of the work is handed over to them.”