Saudi finance minister says investments in Iran can happen ‘quickly’

Tehran and Riyadh recently agreed to restore diplomatic relations under the auspices of China

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said on 15 March that investments in Iran could happen “very quickly” following the signing of a normalization agreement.

“There are a lot of opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran. We don’t see impediments as long as the terms of any agreement would be respected,” Jadaan said during the first private sector forum of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

“We are committed to the principles of our agreement with Iran. The leadership has made it clear that the region is stable and capable of providing people’s needs, investment, and prosperity,” the Saudi official added.

“Iran is our neighbor and will remain so for hundreds of years to come. I do not see any obstacles to normalizing our relations, especially in the field of investments and economic development,” Jadaan highlighted.

The two historic rivals agreed last Friday to restore diplomatic relations within two months following secret talks in the Chinese capital Beijing.

According to the terms of the deal, revealed exclusively to The Cradle, Riyadh and Tehran will reopen their embassies within two months and will also reactivate security, economic, trade, investment, and technology cooperation agreements signed in 1998 and 2001.

The two countries will also exert all efforts to promote regional and international peace and security.

In 2018, the White House kicked off what it called a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. The US withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposed a series of economic sanctions attempting to squeeze Iranian oil exports and curtail the country’s access to the international financial system, Foreign Affairs reported at the time. This led some Western analysts to predict the sanctions would send Iran’s economy into a “death spiral.”

Iran’s crude exports fell to as little as 100,000 bpd in 2020, from over 2.5 million bpd in 2018, according to tanker trackers.

However, thanks to the help of nations like China – Iran’s biggest buyer of oil – the Islamic Republic has managed in recent years to minimize the impact of sanctions.

Earlier this week, Iran reported that its oil exports reached their highest level since 2015, exporting 83 million more oil barrels in the past 12-month period compared to the year before.

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