VIENNA: Iran needs around $100 billion to bring its oil industry back to the level it was five years ago, the country’s Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung in an interview published on Thursday.
At a business conference in Vienna last week, the first such event since this month’s deal between Tehran and world powers on its nuclear programme, Iran outlined a pro-market economic policy package designed to win foreign investment.
Asked about Western estimates that Iran needed $300 billion to get its oil industry back to the level it had before sanctions crippled its economy, Nematzadeh was quoted as saying:
“This number is far too high, according to my knowledge. I think that we can make do with around a third of that sum.”
Iranian officials last week said the country, a member of the oil producer group OPEC, was targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020.
Nematzadeh reiterated that he expected Iran to rejoin the international electronic payment system SWIFT three months from the moment that sanctions, which were imposed to push Iran to curtail its nuclear programme, are “loosened”.
Iran and the six powers struck the nuclear deal on July 14 and, if the UN atomic watchdog confirms Tehran is complying with provisions to curb its nuclear activity, sanctions could begin to be removed later this year.