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Iran’s oil minister to seek investment at Davos

A policeman stands guard on the roof of the Congress Hotel at last year’s World Economic Forum Meeting, at the Swiss resort of Davos/AFP

A policeman stands guard on the roof of the Congress Hotel at last year’s World Economic Forum Meeting, at the Swiss resort of Davos/AFP

TEHRAN, January 22- Iran’s oil minister will hold a “face to face” meeting at Davos with major oil companies to try to coax them back to the sanctions hit Islamic republic, media reported Wednesday.

“We have designed a gigantic volume of investments and technical activities to recover and produce more oil and gas from our fields … and giant international oil companies can play a role in this regard,” Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB’s website.

Iran’s vital oil exports have been more than halved by a raft of international sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear drive, which the West claims is being used to develop atomic weapons. Iran insists its programme is entirely peaceful.

“At the oil and gas industry meeting in Davos , which will be attended by Iran’s president, I will hold a face-to-face meeting with the high-ranking managers of major oil companies to explain (their roles),” said Zanganeh.

Iran clinched a historic nuclear deal with world powers in November, under which it agreed to curb parts of its nuclear drive for six months in exchange for modest relief from international sanctions and a promise by Western powers not to impose new restrictions.

The landmark deal took effect on January 20 when Iran halted production of 20 percent enriched uranium.

“Our efforts at the oil ministry have been focused on the post-sanctions era,” Zanganeh said.

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More than 40 heads of state and government are among some 2,500 participants attending the annual economic summit in the picturesque Swiss mountain resort.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will attend the meeting, accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Zanganeh.

Rouhani, a moderate cleric who defeated conservatives in last year’s election, aims to drum up international investment for his sanctions-hit economy on the back of the diplomatic thaw with the West.

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Rouhani called the Davos gathering an important opportunity for Iran “for both economic reasons as well as explaining our political views.”

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