Iran's caretaker oil minister signalled yesterday that he expected to stay on in the post by outlining plans he will pursue once nominated by the president, such as speeding up projects in the South Pars gas field.
Gholamhossein Nozari's comments, carried by the oil ministry's Shana website, add weight to expectations Nozari will be President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's choice to run the ministry permanently.
The president still has to formally propose Nozari to parliament for approval. But several lawmakers have indicated that the nomination of Nozari, who is also head of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company, would be viewed positively.
"Developing and speeding up the implementation of the South Pars projects, especially the joint fields, are plans which I will follow up, once I am nominated by the president," Nozari said.
"Inviting international contractors to carry out projects in the oil industry, alongside strengthening local contractors will be among my main activities as oil minister," he added. ( Gulf )