Iran: Foreign investment in oil drops during Ahmadinejad's term
Islamic Republic records decline of 64% in foreign investment in petroleum industry. Reason: Western companies hesitate to invest in Iranian market due to increasing international sanctions. Iranian petroleum minister calls sanctions 'joke,' says industry has improved capabilities
During the first four years of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad's term in office, the Islamic Republic has recorded a sharp decrease in foreign investment in the petroleum sector.
According to the data, foreign investment decreased by 64% – from $4.2 billion (about NIS 15.7 billion) to $1.5 billion (about NIS5.6 billion). The sharp decline is ascribed to the increased international sanctions on Iran following the nuclear crisis, and western oil companies' hesitation to invest in the Iranian oil market.
Despite the bleak figures, Tehran on Thursday hosted a large business exposition on matters related to the petroleum industry and petroleum equipment. The Iranian Minister of Petroleum Masoud Mir Kazemi participated in the opening event and commented about developments in the international ring.
The minister refereed to the latest sanctions placed on Iran, which will cut off any overseas petrol imports to the country, and called it a "joke."
According to Kazemi, the global sanctions have not harmed the local oil industry, or the volume of exports. "Despite all the restrictions cast on us, we managed to improve our capabilities.
"The sanctions did not succeed in isolating Iran, and only made it improve its petroleum industry," the minister added.
The exhibition is hosting 435 local companies and some 900 foreign companies The exhibition director Hussein Farsan was quoted as saying, "This exposition is a clear sign of the hegemonic powers' failure to cast sanctions on Iran."
Doron Peskin is head of research at Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd .