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Eight local firms have been chosen as potential JV partners for foreign oil firms.
The list, published on 3 July on the oil ministry’s Shana news website, is a positive move towards opening up to foreign investment. Iran says it remains committed to having initial bidding on 15 fields this month. But its composition underlines the pitfalls facing potential investors. It surprisingly includes Khatam al-Anbia (KAA), the engineering arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC remains under EU and US terrorism-related sanctions.
KAA’s presence is therefore concerning for potential investors and underlines the continued political clout of IRGC-linked elements in the Iranian establishment opposed to foreign investment.
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