Now that Iran appears on the verge of resuming prodigious oil production, it’s becoming clear that it plans to do so by forming ever-closer ties with Russia, one of six world powers that persuaded it to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of Western sanctions. Relations with the United States, though, remain strained.
The nuclear deal certainly does not mean that Iran is on good terms with the U.S., recently, Iran imprisoned at least three men with ties to the United States. Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, while approving the agreement that is expected to lift the sanctions, has stressed that the sanctions agreement doesn’t mean his country is ready to strike any big business deals with American companies, which might open the door to more liberal influences in a religiously conservative state.
Iran’s approach to Russia is different. First it hosted President Vladimir Putin as a special guest during the Nov. 23 Tehran summit of gas-exporting countries. Other signs of cordial ties is that Moscow has been mulling two loans to the Iranian government worth $7 billion together, and the Russian financial newspaper Kommersant reports that Russia will equip Iran with modern air-defense systems.
And most recently, Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO) has reached a tentative deal with the Russian shipyard Krasnye Barrikady, or Red Barricades, to cooperate in the construction of oil rigs and share technology.
The MoU was signed earlier in December in Tehran during an exposition in which representatives of 80 leading Russian companies displayed their products in the biggest such event ever held in the country. Under the agreement, the two sides will jointly build rigs for exploration and extraction of oil and gas from beneath the Persian Gulf.
Full article: Russia To Help Iran Reboot Oil Industry (OilPrice)