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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Iran is admitting its energy industry is suffering as a result of its nuclear standoff with the West. In a statement, Iran’s oil minister confirmed that investment in the country’s oil and gas projects has declined. From the Marketplace European desk, Stephen Beard reports.
STEPHEN BEARD: This could be a small but significant straw in the wind. In a rare statement, the Iranian oil minister admitted that overseas banks have cut their cooperation with Iran.
The reasons are not hard to fathom. The UN may not have imposed any formal sanctions on the country, but the U.S. has been active behind the scenes, pressuring European banks to curb their business with Tehran.
This is clearly taking its toll, says Neil Partrick of the Economist Intelligence Unit.
NAIL PARTRICK: A number of Western banks who’ve been involved have been less active in the last couple of years. And I think that is the context in which Iranian officials are starting to feel a bit uneasy. And also of course they’re concerned that there may be more sanctions of the more substantive kind down the line.
Iran is reckoned to need $80 billion to pay for its oil production plans. And $83 billion for natural gas projects.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.