BERLIN, May 7 (UPI) -- An Iranian delegation in Berlin encouraged German commercial executives to invest in the Iranian energy sector as Tehran claims moves toward self-sufficiency.
Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari is wrapping up a visit to Berlin to encourage commercial investment in the Iranian energy sector as Germany explores its diversification options.
Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reports Mario Ohoven, a German commercial mogul, pledged to pressure German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ease trade restrictions on Iran in order to move toward bilateral deals in the energy sector.
Iran imported about $13.2 billion in goods from Germany in 2008, but German companies have no current presence in the Iranian energy industry.
Meanwhile, Nasser Sudani, a member of the Energy Commission in the Iranian Parliament, said Iran was moving toward self-sufficiency in gas.
Sudani said Iranian refineries were producing around 11.9 million gallons of gasoline per day and his country is on the path toward self-sufficiency by 2012. Iran has put gasoline exports on a 20-year national plan.
He added that gasoline rations and domestic production were overcoming Western-backed economic sanctions.
Two bipartisan measures before lawmakers in Washington would impose additional sanctions on Iran in the energy market, particularly the gas sector.