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    Iranian oil technician checks the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran (File)

    Iran Ready to Discuss Joint Energy Projects With US Companies Despite Sanctions

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    Despite the sanctions unilaterally imposed on Tehran in July and the recent Donald Trump decision not to certify the Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic's minister has commented on the prospects of cooperation with American companies.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tehran is ready to discuss Iranian oil and gas fields exploration projects with US energy companies despite the White House's sanctions policy, which imposes restrictions on economic cooperation with Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Tuesday.

    "[US President Donald] Trump himself barred US companies from entering Iran, we did not shut the way down. If they want, we are ready to negotiate on exploring oil and gas fields with US companies, and Trump does not need to be so anxious about it," Zanganeh said after a meeting with South Korean Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee, as quoted by the IRNA news agency.

    In light of the sanctions the US unilaterally imposed on Tehran in July, Zanganeh said that the US president also should not be concerned with European oil and gas companies "making money" in Iran, as long as the White House itself bans US energy players from the Iranian market.

    The Iranian official's statement came just days after the US administration decided not to certify the Iran nuclear deal in a move prompting speculations of Washington's possible exit from the agreement. US President Donald Trump hasn't refuted the claims and said that the US withdrawal from the historic 2015 nuclear deal reached by the P5+1 group of world powers is a "very real possibility."

    Trump's remark contradicted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's assurance that Washington wants to fully enforce the Iran nuclear deal as it is and "then begin the process of addressing the flaws," emphasizing that the agreement is in the best interest of the United States.

    The Iran nuclear deal agreed upon by the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom plus Germany, collectively referred to as the P5+1 group, presupposes a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions as long as Iran takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program. Tehran has repeatedly praised the deal that contributed to the growth of Iran's economy and paved the way for foreign businesses to invest and conduct joint projects with the Islamic Republic.

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