Iran moved one step closer to securing the return of foreign firms to its oil and gas sector on 3 August when the cabinet gave the green light to the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC). The next step is parliamentary approval. While parliamentary elections in February returned a body more supportive of President Hassan Rohani and his efforts to secure foreign investment, there remain sufficient numbers of hardline MPs opposed to this to delay the process.

But with the IPC having been approved last month by the Resistance Economy Command Headquarters, a body close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the green light from parliament looks inevitable. (CONTINUED - 787 WORDS)