Amir-Hossein Zamani-Nia

Iran welcomes partnership with major Chinese firms: Official

TEHRAN, May 15 (Shana) – A deputy petroleum minister of petroleum said Tehran regards China as a reliable partner, voicing Tehran’s willingness to enter into partnership with major Chinese firms for developing oil and gas fields in Iran in a competitive atmosphere.

Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and trading, underlined the long-lasting relations between Iran and China which well exceed a century.

“China is a strategic partner for Iran and we are seeking to enhance our relations with this country,” said the Iranian official, speaking in a meeting with the visiting deputy head of the National Energy Administration China Zhang yu ging in Tehran on Sunday.

Zamaninia said Sino-Iranian relations are at their best state possible, adding that Beijing proved very instrumental in Tehran’s nuclear talks with the P5+1 group of countries.

“China has been influential in developing Iran’s oil industry,” he added.

Zamaninia also expressed hope that Iran-China relationships in oil, gas, refining and petrochemical industries will improve in the post-sanctions setting.

He said Tehran and Beijing are to ink a memorandum of understanding on long-term relations for developing oil and gas projects in Iran and enhancement of oil and gas recovery from Iranian fields by Chinese companies.

Iran accounted for 11% of China’s oil imports in 2011 which is expected to rise given the long-term deals the two countries will sign on Sunday, said the Iranian official.