September 28, 2023

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Iran, Saudi Arabia negotiating over joint gas field: MP

TEHRAN – Iranian Lawmaker Malek Shariati Niasar has said that the Raisi administration is in talks with Saudi Arabia over the Arash joint gas field in the Persian Gulf.

Niasar pointed out that the Iranian Parliament Energy Committee is seeking an acceleration of the exploitation of the joint fields. 

“The Ministry of Oil in the 13th government is persistent to compensate for the shortcomings in the previous governments with respect to the joint oil and gas fields,” the MP said in remarks to Iran’s state news agency IRNA. 

Niasar, a member of the Parliament Energy Committee, added, “The Ministries of Oil and Foreign Affairs in the 13th government are seriously pursuing consultations and diplomatic measures for the exploitation of the Arash joint field.”

Arash, also known as al-Durrah in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, is a disputed joint gas field in the Persian Gulf, which has been at the center of the relations between Tehran, Kuwait, and Riyadh in recent months. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have averred that Iran has no shares in the field, while Iran continues to demand its rights to the untapped field.

Shariati pointed out that forming a committee to monitor the use of joint fields is on the agenda of the Energy Committee.

The lawmaker also said that the Raisi administration, locally known as the 13th government, has moved to tackle the issue through negotiations with Riyadh and Sanaa.

“Although the 11th and 12th governments did not care about these fields, the 13th government is trying to resolve the differences in the case of the Arash oil and gas field peacefully by resuming relations with Saudi Arabia and negotiations between Sanaa, Riyadh and Tehran,” he said.

Oil Minister Javad Owji has said recently that Iran has let Kuwait know that it will tap into the Arash gas field even if the Arab country decides to shun cooperation.

Owji warned that Iran will not give up any of its rights when it comes to its rightfully-owned natural resources in the joint field.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have recently resumed full diplomatic relations after seven years. 

The newly-appointed Saudi ambassador to Iran, Abdullah bin Saudi Al-Enzi, has arrived in the Iranian capital, elevating relations between Tehran and Riyadh to the ambassadorial level.

The new Saudi ambassador arrived in Iran at the same time as the Iranian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alireza Enayati, arrived in Riyadh. 

The exchange of ambassadors between Iran and Saudi Arabia comes after the March 10 landmark deal between the two regional heavyweights that was brokered by China.


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