Iran Takes Major Step Towards New Contracts. But Will IOCs Bite?

Iran says that the first deals under its new generation of oil contracts will be signed in October. The country’s conservative religious authorities seem to be sufficiently on board. But has gaining their acquiescence come at the cost of making the deals unattractive to foreign investors?

Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Hossein Zamaninia says that he expects the first contract with foreign oil firms under the new Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) to be signed within three months. But if the protracted process of drafting the eagerly awaited IPC has shown anything, it is to treat such pronouncements with a healthy degree of caution. Following its initial unveiling in Tehran last November, where information was sparse, the planned February international release in London was canned.

A revised IPC has now been passed by the Resistance Economy Command Headquarters and awaits approval from the cabinet. As the presence of “Resistance Economy” in the title indicates, the body is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, having been set up at his behest in 2015. It is chaired by First Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri and contains senior cabinet members, including Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.


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