Tehran says on verge of sealing Caspian oil deal with Baku (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, March 19
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad – Trend:
Iran and Azerbaijan have discussed the terms of a draft agreement on cooperation in developing some oil blocks located in the Caspian Sea, a senior official told Trend.
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia described the possible agreement on energy cooperation as "a turning point in ties between Iran and Azerbaijan".
"If this project produces results, it will be a turning point in cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan. The outcome seems considerable in terms of wealth creation," he told Trend on the sidelines of the latest round of economic talks between the two countries in Tehran on Wednesday.
"We held proper negotiations [with the Azerbaijani side] in a friendly atmosphere with a constructive approach. We reached some agreements, which must be finalized in Baku," the deputy minister added.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to pay a visit to Baku in late March, where eight agreements including the cooperation in the oil sector are expected to be finalized.
The Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), a Swiss-based subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), owns a 10-percent share in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz project.
Among the blocks, there could be the Araz-Alov-Sharg project, which is frozen until the Caspian Sea status is agreed upon between Azerbaijan and Iran.
An Azerbaijani delegation, led by the economy minister and co-chairman of the State Commission for Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran in the economic, trade and humanitarian spheres, Shahin Mustafayev, was in Tehran on a two-day visit.