Germany eyes Iranian energy ties?

TEHRAN, May 8 (UPI) -- Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari offered vague details Friday on possible German ventures into the Iranian energy sector.

Nozari wrapped up his visit to Berlin, where he met with officials in the German commercial energy sector, hoping to secure energy deals for Iran.


Iranian media reported earlier in the week that German executives would pressure 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.

Nozari told German-language media that German officials had expressed their "interest for cooperation" in the Persian Pipeline, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

The 2,100-mile Persian Pipeline would bring an estimated 1.3 trillion cubic feet to markets in Europe along a path that includes Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

Without offering specifics, Nozari said several German companies had come forward with interest in expanding energy ties with Iran.

He said mounting energy demand in Europe created a favorable climate for Iran to establish a larger footprint in the regional energy sector.


Iran sits on some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world but is hampered by punitive economic sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

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