TEHRAN, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Tehran announced plans to issue at least $1 billion in bonds to help the country develop its natural resources in the face of Western sanctions, officials said.
Seifollah Jashnsaz, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Co., said the country took steps toward issuing bonds earlier this year but the effort faltered.
There were 12 joint oil fields that the country shares with its neighbors in Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that need development, he said.
The NIOC chief said in February that the oil sector needed at least $10 billion to boost industrial development.
"If we do not make the necessary investment, the harm of the lack of timely investment in the oil industry will be irreversible to the country," he added.
Tehran will announce plans in the "coming days" to issue bonds from the Central Bank in order to fund resource development, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.
The South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf is the target for $1 billion worth of bonds, Jashnsaz added.
Jashnsaz said a lack of funding from the government created a need to issue bonds for development. Iran struggles to exploit its vast natural resources as Western allies tighten the economic screws on Tehran as punishment for a controversial nuclear program.