TEHRAN (Tasnim) – European companies are likely to benefit most if bans on selling petrochemical technologies into Iran are lifted, a top Iranian official said.
“Ending a ban on selling petrochemical technologies to Iran would have an impact on European countries,” Mohammad-Hossein Peyvandi, deputy head of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company said in an interview Sunday.
The European Union is set to ease restrictions on Iranian exports of petrochemical products on Monday, but a prohibition to sell technologies related to the sector into Iran will remain in place.
While that ban isn’t likely to fall away soon, a recent diplomatic détente between Tehran and the West has triggered public charm diplomacy by the Iranians, aimed at braving the western companies to embrace the golden Iran market opportunity.
Sanction-relief measures coming into force on Monday would allow the EU-based companies to buy, import, insure and transport petrochemicals from Iran, something that has been prohibited since 2012.
“Historically, we have relied more on the European market for technologies,” he said in the interview with The Wall Street Journal this weekend, citing Italy, France and Germany as potential beneficiaries.
Peyvandi also said that Iran’s petrochemical sector will spend $70 billion for its renovation within the next 10 years, though he said the plans are partly contingent on sanctions being lifted.
As a result, he said, Iran’s petrochemicals sector could generate an annual $50 billion in revenues by the next decade, up from $21 billion in the last Persian year which ended on March 20, 2013, he said.
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