LONDON (Reuters) – Iran is finalizing about 2 billion euros of investment from Europe in copper and steel projects despite threatened new U.S. sanctions, a government official said on Wednesday.
Early talks are also under way with Swiss investors to develop Mehdiabad, one of the world’s largest zinc deposits, Mehdi Karbasian, deputy minister of industry, mining and trade, told Reuters.
“We’ve had experience (of sanctions) of more than 35 years, but I hope this time Europeans are going to continue to invest,” Karbasian said in an interview on the sidelines of the CRU Aluminium conference in London.
“We’ve been having very good relations with Europe with a lot of imports, exports and investment for the benefit of both European companies and Iranian companies.” Karbasian is also chairman of IMIDRO, the state-owned Iranian Mines and Mining, Industries, Development and Renovation Organisation.
Iran’s rich mineral reserves ranging from iron ore to gold plus cheap energy have attracted interest from foreign investors since Western sanctions were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Tehran and six world powers.