Iran's Zanganeh appoints new oil boss

Sept. 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

TEHRAN, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced a decision to appoint new directors to national oil and natural gas companies.

Zanganeh vowed to overhaul an Iranian energy sector handicapped by Western sanctions designed to rob Iran of export revenue it could use to finance a controversial nuclear program.

The minister announced Abbas Sheri Moqqadam as the new director of the National Petroleum Co., replacing Abdolhosain Bayat.

"Replying to a suggestion by NPC's board of directors and regarding Parliament's legislation on tasks and powers assigned to petroleum minister, you are appointed as managing director of NPC and deputy minister of petroleum for petrochemical affairs," the minister was quoted by the Oil Ministry's news website Shana as saying Monday.

Bayat said last year Western sanctions were a source of stimulus for the domestic petrochemical sector. Zanganeh said Monday he'd work to overhaul the energy sector so Iran could cooperate better with international oil companies.

The minister also appointed Hamid Reza Araqi to head the National Iranian Gas Co. He replaces Javad Oji, who helped steer a gas pipeline deal with Iraq.

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