Ali Akbar Velayati, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top diplomat, said after the meeting with President Vladimir Putin, that Russian President has announced his country’s readiness to make $50 billion of investment in Iran’s oil and gas projects.
A Russian major oil company is to sign a $4 billion deal with Iranian Oil Ministry and related project will be started soon, Velayati said. 2 other main companies of Russia namely Rosneft and Gazprom Neft have also started negotiations with the Oil Ministry and the value of their deals with Iran can rise up to $10 billion, he added.
«As Vladimir Putin said Russia is willing to expand oil and gas ties with Iran», Velayati further noted and added, «$50 billion is a high figure for investment making; in this way Russian companies can take the place of those European ones that left Iran.»
The sum is significant and Russia can replace Western companies, which have to leave Iran due to the US sanctions,
Velayati’s trip, officially billed as one to deliver Khamenei’s and Rouhani’s messages to Putin, sends a signal as to which direction Tehran will look once US sanctions are enacted and European firms begin to pull out. The top story in Kayhan newspaper, whose editor is appointed by Khamenei, was headlined «A smack in the mouth in Tehran’s special mission to Moscow and Beijing.»
The article wrote that Velayati’s trip «signaled the internal coordination to change the economic direction toward the East.»
Separately, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on July 13, that Russia was studying all legal implications for a possible deal with Iran under which Moscow would provide goods to Tehran in exchange for oil. Such a deal is still possible, Novak said.