Russia becomes Iran’s biggest investor – official

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A senior Iranian official says Moscow has poured nearly $3 billion into oil projects in a little more than a year

Russia has become Iran’s largest foreign investor, Fars news agency reported on Sunday, citing the country’s deputy finance minister, Ali Fekri.

According to the official, Russia “had brought some $2.7 billion worth of investment to two petroleum projects in Iran’s Western province of Ilam in the past 15 months.” The figure accounts for some 45% of the total foreign investment attracted by Tehran over the period, Fekri noted.

The UAE, Afghanistan, Türkiye and China were also among Iran’s biggest investors in the reporting period. However, Fekri noted that Beijing had notably reduced spending in 2022.

China has invested nearly $185 million in Iran over that period, which we are not happy with given the amount of negotiations and meetings we had,” he stated.

According to Fekri, Tehran had set a target of $10.2 billion in direct foreign investment for the 15 months to December last year. It failed to reach this goal, having secured only $5.95 billion.

Iran and Russia boosted cooperation throughout 2022 in an effort find ways to bypass Western sanctions imposed on both countries. The two nations sealed a number of agreements expanding trade and concluded contracts on the joint construction of gas pipelines.

Total trade turnover between Moscow and Tehran surged by 15% last year, reaching $4.6 billion. Earlier this month, Iran and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), signed a memorandum on free trade, which is also seen as a means of further strengthening ties between the two countries.

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