“Production capacity and output are the primary factors that elevate the status of countries in international markets, [thus] Iran’s oil production capacity must return to the 2005 level in six to seven months,” Zanganeh said on Friday.
He acknowledged that Iran’s oil sector is faced with many obstacles, but stressed the need for Iran, an influential OPEC member, to boost its crude exports and make a strong return to international oil markets.
Zanganeh also voiced Iran’s willingness to cooperate with any foreign energy firms which could help the country’s oil exploration and extraction.
“There are no limitations in this regard and we will open the country’s market and [investment] potentials once again to them in a bid to win their cooperation in the new phase of oil industry development,” he noted.
With 137.6 billion barrels of proven reserves, Iran enjoys the world's fourth largest crude deposits, and the second largest gas reserves, estimated at 29.61 trillion cubic meters (tcm).
On January 23, 2012, under pressure from the United States, the European Union's foreign ministers approved a round of sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors.
The sanctions, which prevent EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1, 2012.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
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