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Iran delays London oil conference

Jan. 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

TEHRAN, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The Iranian government said Wednesday a conference planned for the introduction of a new framework governing oil contracts has been delayed to July.

The Oil Ministry had planned an April conference in London to introduce the new framework, though the ministry's official news website, Shana, reports the conference is rescheduled for July.

Mehdi Hosseini, the head of a committee tasked with overhauling the oil contract framework, said Iran wanted a "win-win" formula for the new contracts. He provided no specific reason for the delay other than to say U.S. and European sanctions on Iran were discouraging foreign investors from playing a major role in Iran's oil industry.

Shana reported Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh wants to woo "giant oil companies" to Iran's energy sector.

"We have arranged many plans for boosting investment," he was quoted as saying.

The European Union announced Monday it lifted restrictions on insurance and transport of Iranian crude oil. The decision was made in response to Iran's decision to suspend some nuclear research activity according to the terms of an interim deal reached last year with Western powers.

Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency reports the rial, the Iranian currency, has gained value in the wake of Monday's developments. The currency collapsed in 2012 under sanctions pressure.

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