Iran tells Greece to settle oil debts before making new deals
Tehran, Iran, Nov. 30
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has said his country will sign new deals for exporting oil to Greece only once previous oil debts are settled.
Following his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Tehran, Zanganeh stated that the sides are planning to settle the debts prior to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' trip to Iran to avoid obstacles to the expansion of mutual ties, Shana news agency reported November 30.
Tsipras recently said he plans to visit Tehran in a few months.
Greek companies have not been able to pay Iran for oil under economic sanctions.
The sanctions are to be lifted in near future following Iran's comprehensive deal with world powers.
"During today's meeting, talks were held in regard to debt owed to Iran by Hellenic Petroleum, and more talks are to be held in order to arrange for the settlement of the debt," Zanganeh explained.
Hellenic Petroleum owes Iran $755 million, the greater share of Greece's total oil debt to Iran which is $800 million.
He further said that Iran's Tadbir Energy Company is interested in buying shares from Greek petrochemical firms, adding that the Oil Ministry will support the move.