Iran's oil minister says the country is strongly pressing ahead with its plans to increase production of crude oil despite Western sanctions, Press TV reported.
In his speech at the 19th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition in Tehran on Tuesday, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said early steps have been taken to increase Iran's oil output by one million barrels per day within the next four years.
He said new opportunities have been created for the investment of domestic and international companies in Iran's new oil-sector projects.
Zanganeh said Iran's Oil Ministry is determined to lead the industry through the barriers caused by Western sanctions imposed against the country over Tehran's peaceful nuclear energy program.
The international exhibition kicked off in the Iranian capital on Tuesday with Some 600 major energy companies from 32 countries taking part in the annual event.
The participation of foreign companies in Tehran's oil exhibition has nearly tripled despite the US-led sanctions on the Islamic Republic's energy sector. Last year, 195 companies from 15 nations took part in Tehran's 18th international expo.
World oil giants, including Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Malaysia's Petronas, Spain's Repsol, Russia's second-largest oil producer, Lukoil, France's Total and Italy's Eni, have shown interest in returning to the Iranian market following relief in the anti-Iran sanctions that has come after a nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers last November.
In 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors under the pretext of deviation in Iran's nuclear energy program towards militarism.
On January 20, the EU Council suspended a part of its sanctions against the Islamic Republic according to the nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 -- US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.