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Iran expecting Western interest in energy sector

March 3, 2014 at 7:23 AM

TEHRAN, March 3 (UPI) -- Iran expects Western investors to come to Tehran to explore emerging opportunities in the country's energy sector, an Iranian economic director said.

Shana, the Iranian Oil Ministry's news service, reported earlier this year an investment conference was planned for July.

Morteza Behrouzi, the secretary-general for the conference, told the Fars News Agency Western investors are expected to attend.

"Experts from Europe and the United States are due to address the conference," he said in an interview published Saturday. "[It] will be the best opportunity for introducing the investment attractions in the country's oil and energy industries."

Last month, the Iranian government scrapped buy-back contracts in favor of joint ventures with international energy companies in a bid to lure new investors to the country.

Representatives from French energy company Total were among delegates who visited Tehran in early February as part of a French trade mission.

Iran has touted its investment potential since brokering an interim nuclear deal with Western powers in November.

Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activity in exchange for modest relief from economic sanctions, though U.S. officials have said Iran isn't open for business yet.

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