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Iran hails energy ties with Russia

Feb. 18, 2009 at 3:31 PM

TEHRAN, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Iran is ready for more bilateral cooperation with Russia in the oil and gas sector, the Iranian foreign minister said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made the comments in an interview with RIA Novosti, saying the Islamic Republic welcomes the interest from foreign producers.

"Iran, in principle, welcomes the expansion of cooperation with other producers of oil and gas, including with Russian companies," he said.

Russia, Iran and Qatar launched a Gas Exporting Countries Forum cartel in Tehran in 2001 to consolidate efforts among gas-producing nations.

Iran holds some of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world after Russia. Russian energy monopoly Gazprom started participation at the Iranian South Pars gas field in 1997.

"Cooperation with Russian companies will continue on the basis of existing opportunities, on mutually beneficial terms and within the framework of cooperation between two countries," said the Iranian foreign minister.

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