Leaders of Iran

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Petro Pars in shake up, allegations made against oil minister and Behzad Nabavi

IranReporter - Story Page: "Petro Pars in shake up, allegations made against oil minister

A question mark hangs over the future of Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, following reports he had been summoned to court and an official statement of a shake-up in Petro Pars Ltd, the country’s largest non-state energy company which he helped establish.

Abrar-e-Eqtesadi, an economic daily, said Mr Zanganeh’s case was linked to Petro Pars, which the State Inspectorate Organisation alleged had been illegally awarded a project in the giant South Pars gas field. But another reformist newspaper, Touseh, reported the minister might be arrested in connection with the use of $826m in oil revenues. He was supposed to appear in court on Sunday but the case was postponed, it added.

In a separate development, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, head of the judiciary, urged officials to support the +brave judges+ investigating economic crimes. He referred to the recent summoning of +some individuals+ but gave no names, adding that all officials and citizens enjoyed equal rights before the courts.

Allies of Mr Zanganeh believe his case is politically motivated by conservative rivals seeking to undermine the pro-reform administration of President Mohammad Khatami. They noted that Mr Zanganeh had survived previous crises and had been re-appointed as minister in a cabinet reshuffle just three months ago, with the approval of parliament.

State television, without mentioning Mr Zanganeh, reported that Petro Pars, which is registered in the UK Virgin Islands, would be re-established as a private company registered in Iran. All its financial and banking activities abroad would be stopped, and its contracts and commitments transferred to the new company within six months. It said the shake-up followed an agreement between Petro Pars and the finance ministry.

A Petro Pars spokesman said the company was not being dissolved and there would be no impact on its contracts with the Italian energy group, ENI, and Enterprise Oil of the UK. He said that, as before, the new company would be 60 per cent owned by the oil ministry’s pension fund and 40 per cent by the pension fund of IDRO, a state holding company.

Petro Pars was awarded phase one of the South Pars gas project, now some 20 per cent behind schedule, as well as phases four and five together with ENI, plus phases six to eight. Iranian media said its contracts were worth a total of $7.5bn.

Behzad Nabavi, a veteran left-wing politician close to Mr Khatami, resigned as head of Petro Pars several months ago. His departure followed allegations of corruption made by conservative newspapers, and claims by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, a senior conservative cleric, that certain officials, whom he did not name, had plundered millions of dollars from the oil industry. Mr Nabavi, a member of parliament, denied any wrongdoing.

Foreign oil companies are concerned that the controversy over Mr Zanganeh, whether political or financial, is contributing to long delays in awarding major contracts."


Iran Press Service ^ | 4.25.2003 | Afsane Bassir Pour

Posted on 04/26/2003 12:52:02 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
PARIS, 25 Apr. (IPS) As President George W. Bush has also warned the Islamic republic to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs, an influential French daily says Iranian officials are worried by the "obvious pro-Americanism sentiments" of " the Iranian people".

Iranian officials are worried. Worried of the American presence next to their doors, on the East as well as to the West, worried of the invasion of Iraq "with so little popular resistance", worried of the fast fall of the Baghdad regime, worried of the sidelining of the UN, worried of the total disillusion of the Iranian people that, since the beginning of the Iraqi crisis, has resulted in a fierce pro-Americanism of the population... but, especially, worried of the vox populi, that asks for "a change of the regime with the help of the American marines", the daily "Le Monde" wrote.

This demand is taken enough seriously in the political circles so that the resumption of the relations with America –a 24 years-old taboo – had moved forward on the political agenda in Tehran. These relations had been broken on the eve of the establishment of the Islamic Republic and the hostage taking of 55 American diplomats in 1979.

It was Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Iranian ex-president and key man of the regime, who broke the taboo. In a long interview to an Iranian weekly, published on Saturday 21 April, Mr. Rafsanjani proposed the organisation of a referendum about the resumption of the relations with America. According to the "Rahbord" (Strategy) weekly, Mr. Rafsanjani suggested that "the crisis" between Iran and America could be solved by "a referendum in order to know what the Iranian society think about the issue, on conditions, he added, that the Majles (Parliament) and the supreme Guide, approves, a process which is routine.

The reactions didn't linger. The following day, the conservative daily "Keyhan" accused the ex-president of having crossed "the red line." A line that had sent to prison the directors of a polling institute that have shown that the Iranians are massively in favour of resumption of relations with the United States.

Rejecting as "unrealistic" the idea of a referendum on the relations with America, the reformers propose that the question be instead "immediately" examined by the leaders of the regime". For Behzad Nabavi, one of the "credible voices" of the reformers, the relations with Washington has become a "national security issue".

In a rare interview, Mr. Nabavi, a close adviser to President Khatami, told "Le Monde" that the American strategy for the region "doesn't stop to the doors of Baghdad". According to Mr. Nabavi, it exists in Washington, "an Iran project" that is in the process of being implemented", a project that is "not necessarily a military one." In his office situated at the old Marble Palace, in the south of Tehran, that also includes the Majles, of which he assures the vice-presidency, Mr. Nabavi speaks of his concern facing the Americans.

"Evidently, I am afraid!" he exclaims. "How would I not be afraid of an America armed to the teeth and who demonstrated in Iraq its total disdain of respect for the sovereignty of the States? Yes, I am afraid. The Americans are apparently able do whatever they like; no matter the United Nations or even the Western public opinion". "The only and somewhat acceptable argument to the eyes of the western intellectuals justifying a hostile action against a country is the instauration of democracy", Mr. Nabavi said. It is for it, according to him, "that the best defense of Iran against the Americans would be to reinforce its democracy in order to deprive them of their arguments".

Interrogated on the voices calling for "the American interference", Mr. Nabavi declares: "It is obvious that it is the result of our mistake. The fact that people prefer a foreign invasion to living in the Islamic Republic is only the sign of our failure. We have not been able to fulfill the people's democratic aspirations and it is normal that they are disappointed". If one admits that the Iraqis are delighted with Saddam Hoseyn's end, one must also think about the possibility that maybe, the Iranians would celebrate at the end of the Islamic Republic as well".

If the reformers have been weakened a lot by the decision of the Bush Administration to put Iran on the list of "Evil Axis" countries, many think that the "fear of America" can be a "window of opportunity facing the regime’s hard liners that prevents the democratic process". "The hard lines are afraid", said a member of the reformer’s camp. "They are ready to make some concessions; they know that we have a lot more credibility than they have", he added.

But for an Iranian architect who asks for anonymity, "there isn’t any difference between reformers and the conservatives anymore". Exacerbated by the "regime’s deep corruption", he wants its end. "It is simple. We don't want the Islamic Republic anymore", he says. "It took us a quarter of century to realise that the revolution has ended in failure". Like many other Iranians, he also calls for "the American help for change the regime". The argument meets a large echo. "The Afghans and the Iraqis have been freed from dictatorships, why not us?" said a filmmaker. Where it happens to the street man to talk about the arrival of the Marines, the intellectuals don't foresee a military interference, but "a political interference" instead.

Same sense of "fed up" among the students. The student’s movement withdrew from reformer’s organisations. One of its members, speaking under the cover of anonymity, warns the Americans "not shaking the hand of the régime". The regime doesn't want to speak of the resumption of relations because it is afraid of the Americans. "Anti-Americanism is the business of the régime", add this student.

The Chairman of the Majles’ Foreign Affairs Committee, Mohsen Mirdamadi, doesn't believe in the American military threats. "A democratic process has been engaged in Iran", he says. "A process, sustained maybe more by the world public opinion that by the opinion in Iran, but that will prevent any American military interference in our country and this will be our best defense against America".

But, on the other hand, what worries him is the "obvious disappointment" of the Iranians facing the reformers. The non-participation of the Iranians at the February elections -- in Tehran, only 12% of the voters voted - has been lived by many, in Tehran, as" the end of the grace period of the reformers". ENDS IRANIANS PRO-AMERICANISM 25403"

Aljazeera.Net - Key reformists barred from Iran polls - Khatami, Nabavi, Mirdamadi, Armin, Koulaiee...

Aljazeera.Net - Key reformists barred from Iran polls: "In addition, Muhammad Reza Khatami and Behzad Nabavi are both the current deputy speakers in the Majlis. However, the report said the candidacy of the present Majlis president, Mahdi Karubi, was approved.

Also reportedly rejected was Muhsin Mirdamadi, an outspoken reformer and current head of the Majlis foreign policy and national security commission.

Outspoken leftist Muhsen Armin and top women's rights activist Elaheh Koulaiee - both also incumbent deputies - were also barred from standing again.

ISNA said members of the liberal Iran Freedom Movement (IFM) and so-called religious-nationalists were also barred from being candidates."

Nabavi: From the Communist Tudeh Party to OMIR/MIRO

"The Origins of Iran's Reformist Elite" (April 2003): "Behzad Nabavi, who had started his political career in the Communist Tudeh Party and later converted to political Islam, had been a chief ideologue and troubleshooter of the Islamic Republic from the beginning. He had also played a crucial role in the negotiations to free the American embassy hostages in 1980-1981. Mohtashami-Pour had been an Interior Minister for four years and was widely regarded as playing a crucial role in the formation of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement in his capacity as Iran's ambassador to Syria in the early 1980s."

"The OMIR was formed in March 1979 by a collection of small Islamic groups. The original founders of OMIR went on to forge the IRGC in May 1979 and many OMIR members subsequently joined the IRGC. It has, ever since, maintained intimate links with the Revolutionary Guards. These links are primarily personal rather than organisational. Behzad Nabavi assumed leadership over the OMIR in 1980. Amongst the left wing forces of the Islamic Republic, the OMIR has been the most vociferous exponent of championing the "Republican" aspect of the regime at the expense of its "Islamic" component. Hashem Aghajari, who was recently handed a death sentence, is a senior leader of OMIR."

A DEATH SENTENCE FOR THE MIRO - Problems for Behzad Nabavi

RFE/RL Iran Report: "A DEATH SENTENCE FOR THE MIRO. "Jaam," the weekly publication of the conservative Islamic Society of Engineers, on 5 August broke the news that a Hamedan Court had sentenced Hashem Aghajari of the Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO) to death, and on 7 August, Aghajari's lawyer confirmed the news in an interview with ISNA. Aghajari's conviction relates to a speech he made in June (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 1 July 2002), but his trial may be connected with an effort to disband the left-wing MIRO.
Attorney Saleh Nikbakht said that the Hamedan Public Court sentenced Aghajari to death, eight years in prison, and banned him from teaching for 10 years. Nikbakht said that he would appeal the sentence upon receipt of formal notification. Nikbakht said that senior sources of emulation and Qom seminarians had seen a videotape of Aghajari's speech and confirmed that it did not insult the Prophet Mohammad, the imams, or sanctities, and it was not offensive in any way. Moreover, Aghajari apologized several times for having hurt anybody's feelings.

Aghajari's speech and the furor it caused appear to have made it open season on the MIRO, a party with roots in the Mujahedin Khalq Organization. Criticism of the MIRO could be found in publications (e.g., "Shoma," "Resalat," and "Yalisarat al-Hussein") associated with conservative political figures and groups. Mohammad Sazegar said in an interview with the 4 August "Resalat" that the MIRO had distanced itself from the constitution, ignored the people's religious beliefs, and neglected national interests. Sazegar said that the MIRO is paving the way for the United States by creating discord and disharmony.

There were other efforts to discredit the MIRO. Senior theologians received death threats signed by "the supporters of Hashem Aghajari," "Aftab-i Yazd" reported on 19 August, in an effort to have the party declared "muharib" (at war with Islam). The conservative Society of Islamic Associations of the Bazaar complained that the MIRO lacked political legitimacy, according to the 21 August "Tehran Times," prompting an investigation by the Article 10 Commission of Political Parties. This could have led to the MIRO's being dissolved.

And then there was an attempt to connect MIRO leader Behzad Nabavi with the 1981 bombing of the Islamic Republican Party headquarters by the Mujahedin Khalq Organization, as reported in the 1 September "Aftab-i Yazd." This incident led to the deaths of President Mohammad Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, as well as 70 other officials, a number strikingly similar to the number of martyrs who died beside Imam Hussein in Karbala.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohsen Armin, who is a member of the MIRO, dismissed as a joke attempts to dissolve his party, ISNA reported on 27 August. He said that such issues must be dealt with through legal channels, and declarations against the MIRO by seminarians lacked legitimacy. Armin went on to say that the Association of Qom Seminary Lecturers was more political than religious, and it and the Society of Islamic Associations of the Bazaar were allied and were opposed to the reformist front.

The death sentence against Aghajari is no joke, however, and even if the sentence is changed on appeal to only imprisonment, it is part of the effort to eliminate an outspoken element of the reform movement. Other significant MIRO members who have run into trouble with the courts are Mustafa Tajzadeh and Behzad Nabavi. (Bill Samii)"

Behzad Nabavi, Tehran Reformist MP, calls for calm

Minister of Science, Research and Technology lashes out at IRIB performance: "Behzad Nabavi, Tehran Reformist MP, calls for calm

Tehran, may 2, IRNA -- Reformist MP-elect for Tehran constituency to the sixth parliament (Majlis), Behzad Nabavi, commenting on recent events in the country appealed for calm under present circumstances, it was reported yesterday.

"Under present circumstances, neither silence nor violence or inciting behavior is correct," he told a gathering of students at avicenna auditorium hall of Tehran university medical school.

Commenting on events following the may 23 presidential election which swept Khatami in a landslide victory, he said that what he has seen in the country in the past month is a group bent on the "continuation of a pattern of behavior intended to create tension, paving the way for suppression and imposition of despotism in society."

He further said that "this tension-creating group, which is not affiliated to any political spectrum and might be present in various groupings, intends to inculcate in the people's mind the thought that the epic of February 18, 2000 (6th Majlis election) was planned by the United States and Britain," he added.

The spokesman for the Khordad-2 front then touched on other developments, saying, "following February's parliamentary polls the strategy of the Khatami administration has been towards national construction, but the attempt on the life of a member of the city council Saeed Hajjarian has held it in abeyance."

Castigating the screening of parts of a video footage of the Berlin conference by the Islamic Republic of Iran broadcasting, he said, "unfortunately, the IRIB instead of acting as a national media is exclusively under the control of a special group."

He also hit out at the revolutionary court for questioning the presence of certain people in the conference that was organized by a German-based organization and entitled "Iran after the elections."

He referred to the recent closure of a number of reformist publications by the press court on charges of disparaging Islam and principles of the Islamic revolution through published articles, saying such an action will make people turn to the foreign mass media for information.

Asked by a student on the possible annulment of certain election results for Tehran constituency, he said, "the Guardians Council is more wise than to commit such wrongdoing."

Asked also to comment on remarks made by former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a recent Friday prayer gathering, Nabavi said: "I regret that a political rival has made such remarks.""

Nabavi blasts Conservatives

Above Top Secret - War On Terrorism - Political turmoil in Iran: "Majlis deputy speaker and prominent reformist Behzad Nabavi warned the opponents of reform: "[They] should realize that they cannot run the country with only 20% of the votes, and they cannot rely on [blaming] foreign powers [for domestic problems]. They should also know that they cannot resort to arrests and violence in order to rule." Concurring with the reformists' threat to quit, Nabavi added: "Indeed, [the conservatives] have not succeeded in dismissing us from the government, but the current situation is no better than quitting it."(4)"

Behzad Nabavi allegedly backs US invasion of Iran

You say you want a revolution || kuro5hin.org: "Behzad Nabavi, the Majles Deputy-speaker and reformist, explains, "If one admits that the Iraqis are delighted with Saddam Hussein's end, one must also think about the possibility that maybe, the Iranians would celebrate at the end of the Islamic Republic as well." In an open letter to President Khatami asking for the release of fellow writers from prison, Ebrahim Nabavi wrote that he would prefer American occupation to the current government that consistently ignores the rights of the citizens.

On those calling for American intervention, Behzad Nabavi said, "It is obvious that it is the result of our mistake. The fact that people prefer a foreign invasion to living in the Islamic Republic is only the sign of our failure. We have not been able to fulfill the people's democratic aspirations and it is normal that they are disappointed."

Regardless of how you see the Iraq war initially, it is undeniably producing fruit already. Leadership in Tehran, along with the rest of the world, is getting a clear message. A threat of force is only credible if it is occasionally backed up, and now a fear of America seems to be moving through governments across the region. Nabavi explains how Iran can avoid the same happening to it, "How would I not be afraid of an America armed to the teeth and who demonstrated in Iraq its total disdain of respect for the sovereignty of the States? Yes, I am afraid. The Americans are apparently able do whatever they like; no matter the United Nations or even the Western public opinion." He continued, "The only and somewhat acceptable argument to the eyes of the western intellectuals justifying a hostile action against a country is the instauration of democracy." He sees that "the best defense of Iran against the Americans would be to reinforce its democracy in order to deprive them of their arguments." If the perception is that restoring democracy is how you stave off American force, then we came across loud and clear in Iraq. It is hard to imagine a better message."

Behzad Nabavi - Iran News � July 26, 1997, p

Published in Tehran-based English daily Iran News � July 26, 1997, p: "Behzad Nabavi

Behzad Nabavi is another prominent figure qualified for a ministerial seat in Khatami’s Cabinet. Nabavi, who is the chairman of the Islamic Revolution Mujahideen Organization and a former minister in Musavi’s Cabinet, openly supported Khatami during the election campaigning.

He is a renowned left-wing theoretician. He has published a series of articles in the Asr-e Ma (Our Era) Weekly which is the mouthpiece of his organization. In these articles, he has defined and differentiated Iran’s political wings as traditional right, modern right, classic left, and new left.

Apparently, Nabavi has a very clean political record. But the problem that he faces is that in a diagram showing the political stances of the leftists, he stands at the peak. He is known as the most hard-line figure in the left wing who is very open and explicit in his statements.

In terms of political groupings, Nabavi is very close to Khatami, but the self-restrained, realistic, and tolerant nature of Khatami is not compatible with Nabavi’s character. Khatami will, therefore, not appoint Nabavi as a minister.


Behzad Nabavi and the Petropars Scandal

IranMania News: "An Insight Into Petropars

Tuesday 04 June 2002 - (c) 2002 IranMania.com
By: Kayvon Biouki

Recent allegations of corruption against the Iranian oil company Petropars have increased the level of politicization of oil sector affairs in Iran.
Clearly, the Petropars story touches many aspects of Iran's developments, mainly the developments in the oil and gas sector, the push for privatization and restructuring as well as the struggle for political reform. This article discusses the recent developments relating to this company.

Since November 1995, when Iran's Oil Ministry (OM) decided to open significant sections of the Iranian oil and gas sector to international investors, the country's hydrocarbon sector has been under a constant wave of change and restructuring. Initially, the authorities concentrated on a restructuring plan for NIOC itself in order to respond to the organizational needs in this sector. However, as soon as MoP started awarding development projects to companies, a domestic lobby initiated a campaign to increase the local content of such projects. One of the logical responses from the Iranian side was to establish companies such as Petropars and Petroleum Development Company in order to lineup a series of Iranian firms as prime contractors of exploration and development projects.

Creation of Petropars

Petropars Limited was incorporated and registered in England under the laws of British Virgin Island in January 1998. This was among the first companies that are known as NIOC offshoots to be registered under the Khatami administration. Initially, Petropars' function within the NIOC family was to act as a Management Contractor by supervising over the subcontractors, and to undertake execution of the infrastructure projects on an E.P.C. basis. Nonetheless, it was clear from the start that NIOC's main desire was to turn Petro Pars into a full-fledged oil and gas upstream company with the capability of taking over independent projects. The cooperation with foreign firms within the current buy-back projects are development stages for the mentioned objective.

Another important precedent with regard to Petropars was the fact that it is owned by the NIOC Pension Fund (60%) and the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization Pension Fund (40%). This was the best that the MoP could offer in terms of creating a semi-private entity, which would be awarded various upstream projects.

In the case of Petropars the projects have mainly focused on the giant offshore gas field of South Pars (please see box). In fact, in addition to phase 1 of this field, Petropars has also been the prime contractor of phases 4, 5 as well as 6, 7 and 8.

Petropars under investigation

Since November last year, Petropars has been under severe accusations of corruption. Though the initial suggestion was that these allegations were politically motivated, the company has undergone some severe changes. These included:

Transfer of all overseas activities inside Iran based on an agreement reached between the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and officials at Petropars. Within that agreement, a new entity called Petro Pars Private Joint Stock Company was created. Consequently, all contracts and commitments of Petropars Ltd were transferred to the new company. The Ministry of Economy and Finance committed to facilitate bank, customs, taxation, registration and management related issues to this end.

Furthermore, the State Inspectorate Organization (SIO) sealed Petropars' books and records in Tehran for auditing, It was argued that the re-registration within Iran led to the need of making the financial status of the company more transparent.

The SIO investigation then evolved into a probe into the entire process of awarding the development of the first phase of South Pars gas field to Petropars. The SIO, which called for the auditing, explained that the core allegation is that the High Council of Economy's (HCE) approved of the concession of South Pars to this company before it was formally found. The SIO, then, returned the case to the Judiciary, where it was studied by the Headquarters for Combating Economic Corruption, which is chaired by the heads of the three branches of government. The Judiciary, meanwhile, provided the parliament with a report detailing the allegations against the Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh.

Given the ambiguity in the allegations against Zanganeh and the announcement that Petropars' UK activities would be shutdown and relocated to Iran, some sources say that the real aim of the court summon was to pressure the Minister to accept the re-registration of Petropars, rather than a personal attack on him. It is noteworthy that after the SIO's initial allegations against Petropars, Zanganeh had defended this company, insisting that all pertinent laws had been observed in granting that company the first phase of South Pars. The ministry has alluded on the approval of the HCE in this regard at that time.

The mentioned upheavals came shortly after a major reshuffle in the top brass of that company which brought Akbar Torkan (see box), who is a very respected technocratic figure in the Iranian industrial apparatus, to hold the top position of that firm. The reshuffle was aimed at addressing critiques that Petropars' key posts were held by influential politicians, who were in breach of Iranian law by simultaneously holding two governmental posts. The main figure targeted at the time was Behzad Nabavi (see box), a leading reformist figure and an MP from Tehran. Nabavi initially resisted the pressure to resign, insisting that a member of parliament is not a government official, and also that Petropars could not be characterized as a governmental entity; but eventually succumbed to the building pressure.
It should also be noted that parallel to all above developments, the main critique against Petropars has been that it has only implemented 55 per cent of the development project of phase one of South Pars after four years, meaning it is 18 per cent behind schedule. For some Iranian decision-makers, the experience of Petropars has indicated that a purely Iranian firm is hardly capable of fulfilling a complex upstream oil or gas project, hence justifying the inclusion of foreign companies in later phases of South Pars.

Recent Developments

During the recent Oil Show in Tehran, the company's officials defended the performance of this entity and played down the embezzlement allegations against Petropars as politically motivated. In an interview during the Oil Show, Akbar Torkan ruled out any illegal action taken by his company saying that the company was totally Iranian and had only signed contracts with National Iranian Oil Company's headquarters in London for its financial supply.

Furthermore, the heads of the three branches of government met and reached a compromise on the Petropars case. They have reportedly agreed to have an expert committee review the charges against Behzad Nabavi, the former MD of Petropars and a powerful reformist figure. The committee would then hand over itsreport to the president's office. In other words, Iran's top politicians have agreed to take the case out of the conservative dominated courts.

Nabavi appeared in court for a third time, but is still to be informed of any formal charges against him. In a recent interview, he told reporters that after the above-mentioned meeting, some top officials suggested to him that he needn't show up to court any longer. However, he decided now that the case has been brought up to complete the judicial procedure.


An unbiased analysis of the Petropars case underlines the chronic problems of Iran's current state of affairs. Petropars is the best example of the politicization of all aspects of economic activity in Iran.

The key phenomena to take into account are:

On the one side, Petropars represents an instrument through which Iranian authorities have tried to gradually offer a share of the country's huge oil and gas wealth to stakeholders outside the oil sector. The fact that IDRO is a 40% shareholder and also that 2 former IDRO directors are running this company are clear indications in this regard;

In addition, it is a representative of the distorted privatization attempts through which state entities are merely transferred to state pension funds or investments companies;

On the other side, the failure of Petropars to manage the very first project under its supervision (South Pars 1) has reminded all critiques in Iran of the management deficiencies in public and semi-public entities;

Furthermore, the company is being used as yet another case where political rivalries and factional struggles are played out. The internal and external damage of such phenomena to Iran's economy is irreparable.
An end to Petropars' current problems is clearly in sight as a result of the current atmosphere of reconciliation among the country's political factions. However, central issues such as the challenge of managing the current transition away from a centrally organized oil and gas sector towards a more competitive environment will not disappear. Also, the desire of various stakeholders and power centers who would like to secure their share of Iran's lucrative hydrocarbon sector, will continue to irritate companies in this sector.

As far as the commercial success of Petropars is concerned, unless it moves into the ownership of a truly private and apolitical entity, Petropars will remain yet another semi-public company with its various deficiencies and risks. Nonetheless, officials hope that the partnership and cooperation with Agip in phases 4 and 5 and also a prospect partnership with another international firm in phases 6,7 and 8 will help Petropars grow to become a more efficient entity. However, before that stage is reached, this company alongside top decision-makers in the oil and gas sector will have to encounter other political, judicial and technical challenges.

All of the above phenomena hand in hand with the very slow pace of developments and negotiations in the Iranian hydrocarbon sector are serious irritants to foreign players in this significant market. It remains to be seen whether the Petropars story has taught the Iranian authorities new lessons that they would consider in their next moves whether it is how new companies are structured and also how future contracts and projects are designed.


The Persian Gulf based South Pars gas field together with the adjacent Qatari North Dome are the world's largest independent gas field. South Pars covers an area of 3,700 square km and contains a reservoir of 437 trillion cubic feet of gas which is about 8% of the world's and 40% of Iran's total reserves.

South Pars was explored in 1966 by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Located on Iran-Qatar borderline in the Persian Gulf, the field is 100km off Iran's southern coast. Given this vast expanse, the South Pars was planned to be developed in different phases. Assalouyeh port situated 270km southeast of Bushehr is considered as the base coast for erection of offshore establishments and for the phase-by-phase development of this field.

Phase 1

The first phase in development of South Pars was planned for exploitation of gas and gaseous condensates. Offshore and onshore installations are being created for a daily production and refining of 100 million cubic feet of gas to be transferred to countrywide pipelines.

According to the Master Development Plan (MDP), in addition to gas some 40,000 barrels of stabilized gaseous condensates and 200 tons of solid sulfur will also be exploited on a daily basis. The development project is carried out by Petro Pars.

The offshore facilities include drilling platforms, exploitation rig, residential complex, flare, 5.5 km length of 18 inch submarine pipeline 1.7km length of 30 inch pipeline from the refinery to the offshore export platform and 105km of 32 inch submarine pipeline for transferring gas and gaseous condensates in two phases to the coast based refinery.

The onshore facilities include units for reception and separation of gas and gaseous condensates stabilization of gaseous condensates sweetening dehydration mercaptan treating dew pointing and condensing for the transfer recycling and freezing of sulfur.

The completion of this phase which is the only phase so far awarded to a purely Iranian firm, has been delayed by months.

Phases 2 & 3

Implementation of phases two and three has been granted on a buy back arrangement to a consortium of TotalfinaElf (40%), Gazprom (30%) and Petronas (30%). The fields are planned to lead to a daily production of 80,000 barrels of gaseous condensates, 400 tons of sulfur and 52 million cubic feet of refined natural gas. The first production of this field started flowing at the end of April.

The offshore installations include two rigs for drilling 20 development wells, two submarine pipelines each with a diameter of 32 inches and two other pipelines each with a diameter of 4.5 inches running for 105km. Also a gas refinery is being built to operate at a capacity of 2,000 million cubic feet. The refinery will house units for reception and separation of gas and gaseous condensates, stabilization of gaseous condensates, sweetening, dehydration, mercaptan treating, dew pointing and condensing for the transfer recycling and freezing of sulfur. There will also be a restoration unit of Mono-Ethylene Glycol for injection.

Phases 4 & 5

Development of phases 4 and 5 of South Pars has been awarded to a partnership of Agip (60%) and Petropars (40%) through a buy-back contract. Completion of these phases will lead to a daily exploitation of 50 million cubic feet of natural gas , 80,000 barrels of gaseous condensates 1.05 million tons of LPG for export , 71 million cubic feet of Ethane and 400 tons of Sulfur. Based on the provisions of this contract, the project will be completed and operational in 2005.

Offshore facilities of these phases include two four-pillar platforms, two three-pillar flaring platforms, two submarine pipelines with 32 inches of diameter and 105km of length and two other pipe lines with 4 inches of diameter and 105km of length.

Phases 6, 7 & 8

Development of phases 6, 7 and 8 was awarded to a partnership between Petropars and Enterprise Oil. Once developed, the field will have a daily production of 80 million cubic meters of sour gas for injection purposes, 120,000 barrels of gaseous condensates and 1.2 million tons of LPG per year.
These phases will have three marine platforms, each to be used for drilling 10 production wells. The yield of these platforms will be transferred to the onshore installations via three pipelines each running as long as 105 km with a diameter of 32 inches. At the same time a gas refinery will be commissioned onshore to operate at a daily capacity of 3000 million cubic feet. The refinery will house units for reception and separation of gas and gaseous condensates, stabilization of gaseous condensates dehydration of gas exploitation of liquefied gas, dew pointing and condensing in order to transfer gas. These phases will be completed by January 2006.

Phases 9 & 10

Preliminary negotiations in legal and technical terms are under way with international companies to sign buy-back or finance contracts for development of these two phases. Similar to phases 4 and 5 implementation of these phases will lead to exploitation of 2,000 million cubic feet of gas.

Phases 11 & 12

Development of phases 11 and 12 of South Pars Field aims at exploiting 80,000 barrels of gaseous condensates plus 55 million cubic meter of gas per day.

Preliminary negotiations in legal and technical terms continue with international companies to sign buy-back or finance contracts.

Oil Layers in South Pars Field

In addition to Kangan and Dalan, which are the main gas reservoirs of South Pars, there are other reserves occurring in this field and drilling operations performed by Pars Oil And Gas Company confirm the existence of oil in these reserves.

The results of these drillings indicate that Daryan Reserve in the joint field of South Pars is of special significance. The oil column of this reserve goes over 25 meters.


Profile of Akbar Torkan
Date & Place of Birth: 1952, Tehran
Education: M.A. in management
· President of the Wrestling Federation
· Managing director of Petro Pars
· Director of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO)
· Former minister of roads and transportation (1993-1997)
· Minister of defense (1989-1993)
· Governor general of Ilam and Hormozgan provinces
Additional Comments: Founding member of Executives of Construction Party; Founding member of Party of Justice and Development; leading technocrat figure.

Profile of Behzad Nabavi
Date & Place of Birth: 1942, Tehran
Education: Master's Degree in electronics from Amir Kabir University (former Tehran Polytechnic) in 1964

Politically, Behzad Nabavi has an interesting background. He was a member of the National Front in the early 1960s; later associated with leftists and Islamic groups; then he formed an Islamic political group with former members of the National Front and advocated armed struggle against the former regime (1970); served 6.5 years in prison (1971-1978).

After the 1979 Islamic revolution Nabavi was a member of the IRIB supervisory council (December 1979). He also was a founding member of the Mujahedin of Islamic Revolution Organisation as a semi-clandestine paramilitary group. In 1980 he became minister without portfolio for executive affairs and spokesperson of the government. He helped establish the National Economic Mobilization Headquarters assigned to ration staple commodities following the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war and took charge of it (1980-1982). He also played a major role in Algiers negotiations with the United States for the release of Americans taken hostage in Iran and signed the Algerian Declarations with the United States on behalf of the Iranian government.

Nabavi became Heavy Industry Minister in 1982 and held the portfolio until August 1989. During this tenure he was accused by the conservatives of mismanagement and corruption but survived 10 motions of no confidence by the Majles from 1980-1989; Deputy Chief of Armed Forces General Command for Logistics and Industrial Support. Since 1989, he has been focusing on his political grouping (Organization of the Mujhahedin of Islamic Revolution) but has held many positions, including a member of board of the MAPNA company and also Chairman of Petropars from 1998 to 2001."

Behzad Nabavi: Mousavi 1st Choice for President Moin 2nd Choice

Iran Daily: "Reformists Still Focused on Mousavi

TEHRAN, Nov. 17--A prominent politician on Tuesday said the reformist camp is still determined to continue its negotiations with former prime minister, Mir Hossein Mousavi, to convince him to nominate himself for the presidency in May 2005.
Behzad Nabavi, a member of the Islamic Revolution's Mujahideen Organization (IRMO), also said, "There are other candidates under consideration, such as Mostafa Moin, the former minister of higher education. However, before reaching an agreement with Mousavi, we will not declare anyone as our definite candidate."
According to ISNA, Nabavi noted that the strategies of the reformist camp will depend on who wins the next presidential race.
Asked what the reformist camp would do if its nominees were disqualified, Nabavi said, "Our guidelines has always been to participate in electoral races, no matter what. We have always announced that we are a reformist current active within the framework of the constitution. Therefore, we have no other alternative, but to participate in electoral races.""

Sazman-e Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami & Behzad Nabavi

Iranian Political Factions Today: "Sazman-e Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami
(Organization of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution)
This organization was created in 1979, shortly after the revolution, from small Islamic guerrilla organizations, several of whose leaders had formerly been Marxists. The political ideology of members of this group today is similar to that of the Khat-e Emami groups. Recently representatives of this group and their student supporters have launched the bi-weekly newspaper Asr-e Ma. One of the leading figures behind Asr-e Ma is Behzad Nabavi, one of the founders of the Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami, who acted as chief negotiator for Iran during the discussions with US officials over the the fate of the American hostages and who also served as Minister of Heavy Industry. Behzad Nabavi and some of his younger student supporters have recently written articles in which they try to reconcile the Velayat-e Faqih or guardianship of the supreme jurisprudent with popular sovereignty in political decision making. The Sazman-e Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami supported Khatami's presidential candidacy."


IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE: "MPs will support resuming enrichment

09:48:39 Þ.Ù
Tehran, Oct 31 - Head of Majlis national security and foreign policy commission said here Saturday that the bill for obliging the government to resume uranium enrichment pending at the Majlis will garner significant support.

Aladdin Boroujerdi said that the bill which has been drawn up by 238 deputies will be presented to the Majlis floor on Sunday.

He called the vote "a historic first" in all the session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis).

"The bill will obligate the government to determine a specific date pertaining to the issue of the current freeze on the uranium enrichment."

He added that the bill is to have two readings and be finalized in the second one.

The representatives are permitted to present their views and proposals following the initial reading to be incorporated in the final draft.

He said that the statements by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution over the nuclear negotiations in Vienna are "pivotal" and "final."

On the issue of threats by some to send Iran's nuclear file to the UN Security Council, Boroujerdi said this is not a simple affair and if the Security Council takes up the case, "Iran's first step should be to withdraw from the additional protocol of th e Non-Proliferation-Treaty (NPT) and scrap snap inspection."

"This possibility that Iran may assume such a posture is important for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as the European states.

"It is natural that they will take into account all the relevant angles before reaching a decision on the issue," the MP underlined.

He said there are no logical underpinnings by the Europeans in their negotiations with Iran on the peaceful nuclear activities.

Boroujerd surmised that any unwarranted stance by the Europeans will face serious resistance at the IAEA governing board, "Because Iran has carried out policies that have been espoused by the nuclear watchdog agency and has acted within the confines of t he IAEA guidelines."

He further brushed aside "any legitimate basis for sending Iran's case to the UN Security Council."

He said the third session of talks between Iran and European trio - France, Britain and Germany - is slated to take place in Paris by the end of the week.

Iran has opted for a wait and see attitude on the trend of the negotiations and the Iranian delegation has a serious stancein these talks, Boroujerdi said.

m/k "

Khatami, Nabavi are elected as Deputy Speakers - Ansari 3rd Boroujerdi 4th

Khatami, Nabavi are elected as Deputy Speakers - www.ezboard.com: "Khatami, Nabavi are elected as Deputy Speakers
Nabavi, Khatami elected deputy speakers
Tehran, June 11, IRNA -- Behzad Nabavi, with 155 votes and
Mohammad-Reza Khatami with 135 votes, out of a total of 248 votes cast
were elected first and second vice-speakers, respectively, of
the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis). Both will serve for a term
of one year.
Other candidates who vied for the posts were Majid Ansari and
Aladdin Boroujerdi who secured 115 and 58 votes, respectively.
Mohammad-Reza Khatami, younger brother of President Mohammad
Khatami, is the secretary for political affairs of the reformist
Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) while Nabavi is the
spokesman of the May 23 Front and member of the Islamic Revolution
Mojahedin Organization.
Earlier, Majid Ansari and Abol-Qassem Sarhaddi-Zadeh
were elected interim vice-speakers who defeated rivals Mohammad
Mir-Mohammadi and Jamileh Kadivar.
According to Majlis by-laws, permanent members of a new presiding
board can only be elected after the credentials of at least two-thirds
of newly elected members are approved.
The Guardian Council has so far approved the credentials of 246
MPs to the sixth Majlis which opened on May 27. To date 27 seats
remain to be filled.
::irna 11/06/2000 11:57 "

Aladdin Boroujerdi cautions IAEA on nuclear file, says Iran may withdraw from NPT

MP cautions IAEA on nuclear file, says Iran may withdraw from NPT: "MP cautions IAEA on nuclear file, says Iran may withdraw from NPT
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Oct 14, IRNA -- Head of Majlis National Security and Foreign
Policy Commission said here Thursday that if Iran`s nuclear case is
referred to the UN Security Council, Iran will end it cooperation with
the International Atomic Energy Agency`s (IAEA) inspectors and
withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In a press conference, Aladdin Boroujerdi who is in Moscow on
official invitation, said the article four of the NPT give explicit
legitimacy to Iran to use the developed nation`s technology to gain
capability for exploration and enrichment of uranium.
Iran has been a member of the NPT for over three decade and before
the Islamic revolution the country was scheduled to obtain 23 atomic
reactors to be supplied by the US, France, Germany, Boroujerdi
underlined. After the revolution these projects were stopped for
political reasons, and now the Majlis is resolved in defending the
national rights.
Despite, the continuing US objections to Iran`s peaceful nuclear
technology program, "we signed the additional protocol and handed in
a 1030 page dossier to the IAEA governing board and resolved all
doubts and concerns."
"We expect the Security Council, now that Iran has voluntarily
and transparently halted the uranium enrichment, to embark on mutual
confidence building and close Iran`s nuclear file," Boroujerdi
Iran was deprived of its legal and legitimate right enshrined in
`Article 4` of NPT by the western nations and using its experts has
uccessfully enriched uranium and has made transparency and confidence
building its policy.
He then referred to the Group of Eight (D-8) meeting which is to
kick off Friday. "We hope that if they discuss Iran`s nuclear program
they will draw upon the NPT provisions and accept our legal case."
"Otherwise the will be confronted with Majlis reaction in
defending the national rights," he further warned.
On the return of Bushehr`s powerplant`s spent nuclear fuel to
Russia, he said negotiations are continuing on the issue. The Russian
Atomic Energy Minister is slated to visit Iran and tour the
powerplant. The agreement will be signed in the near future, the MP
Boroujerdi expressed satisfaction on meeting with Russian Duma
officials, secretary general of Security Council and energy minister
saying that the upcoming visit by the Russian President Vladimir Putin
will a impetus for bolstering mutual relations.
He added that all Russian officials stressed their support of
Iran`s nuclear program as well as expansion of bilateral relation in
all areas.
The two nations have common views on peace and security in Iraq
and Afghanistan, as well as on combating terrorism and drug
trafficking worldwide.
He lamented that the amount of drug cultivation in Afghanistan,
during the US presence, has been doubled. Iran has lost 3,000 of its
police force in the drug fight.
Boroujerdi heading a delegation of Majlis National Security and
Foreign Policy Commission is in Moscow on an invitation by the Duma`s
Foreign Affairs committee.
The delegation will return to Tehran Thursday night.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here Tuesday said that suspension
of uranium enrichment which was agreed upon in Tehran still continues,
stressing that confidence-building should be bilateral and the two
sides should undertake their commitments.
Talking to IRNA on the sidelines of the 12th International
Conference on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Kharrazi pointed to
Iran`s nuclear dossier and added that whenever one side refused to
fulfill its commitment, problems would naturally arise.
"We suspended parts manufacturing voluntarily and there was no
need for us to continue this because they did not keep their
promises," Kharrazi said.
"In Tehran meeting, we agreed on suspension but after the
meeting, the Europeans considered it as inadequate and called for
extension of suspension.
"Suspension should be two-sided and the optimal outcome will be
chieved whenever both sides fulfill their commitments. We intend to
reach a consensus through dialogue and build necessary confidence,"
he said.
He stressed that presence of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) inspectors in Iran is an indication of Iran`s good
cooperation with the agency, saying the IAEA inspectors are currently
in Iran and cooperation is underway.
"Iran cannot be forced to discontinue enrichment process and the
country will never ignore enrichment activities," the minister
reiterated and hoped Iran`s nuclear case in the IAEA would be closed
in the earliest time through settlement of minor remaining issues.
Asked about Russia`s hesitation in supplying fuel to Iran, he
said, "A delay in fuel supply was due to technical reasons and the
issue will be finalized during Russian president`s (upcoming) visit
to Iran which we are currently working on its date.
"A contract for fuel should be inked and an additional protocol
drawn up to this effect. The project has been prolonged due to
negotiations on technical, financial and pricing issues but it is on
the final stage and will be signed soon," Kharrazi stated.

Mellat EU Should Compensate Errors: Aladdin Boroujerdi

Mellat Electronic Newspaper: "EU Should Compensate Errors

TEHRAN - A senior parliamentarian says the European Union should make up for the mistakes it committed vis-à-vis Iran's nuclear dossier.
The Europeans have to make up for their mistakes to set the stage for our deliberations on snap inspections," Aladdin Boroujerdi has told Hamshahri newspaper.
"Under the present circumstances, we cannot make up our minds," he said.
"The Europeans did not keep their pledges and even violated their obligations. They adopted a harsh resolution against Iran last month," said Boroujerdi, chairman of Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Committee.
"The United States has managed to pit the world against us through its print media and we have to win back the world confidence in our peaceful nuclear programs," he said.
"To this effect, we held dialogue with the three European countries to prove our goodwill and neutralize the US-Israeli conspiracy against the country. We voluntarily suspended our enrichment of uranium. The Europeans promised us to have Iran's nuclear dossier closed in exchange for our decision to halt building components for centrifuges. We intended to demonstrate that we were not seeking any atomic bomb. We also gave our initial approval to the NPT."
However, Boroujerdi called for persistent dialogue with the European Union.
"We look into all countries from a positive standpoint. We are set to broaden our ties with the Europe, nuclear case aside. Unlike the United States, the Europeans and Iran can have good bonds. However, we have to adopt a more active diplomacy vis-à-vis the non-aligned nations. It does not necessary mean that we forget our interactions with the Europeans.""

Boroujerdi: Iran will never recognize Israel

MP: Iran will never recognize Israel - Persian Journal Latest Iran news & Iranian Article News paper: "MP: Iran will never recognize Israel
Dec 18, 2004, 14:53

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Iranian MP took a swipe at the EU, ruling out a stumbling bloc set by western negotiators Saturday.

European countries should learn that Iran will never recognize Israel, head of national security and foreign policy commission of parliament Alaadin Boroujerdi said.

Reffering to the European's draft resolution, Boroujerdi said that the Islamic Republic of Iran will never recognize the Zionist regime and will never accept any pre-condition in this regard for continuation of negotiations.

EU states have set Israel's official recognition as a pre-condition before giving a go ahead for the ongoing talks.

He added that Iran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Ageny was the main precondition set for Iran which has been fully committed by the regime."

Deputy Foreign Minister Alaadin Boroujerdi visits Ankara 13 June 1997

Turkistan-Newsletter> Volume 97-1:09, 13 June 1997: "Republic of Turkey (ROT) News
>Subject: TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review
>Date: 11 Jun 1997 11:50:51 -0400

Turkey reiterated its security concerns to Iran yet again during the unexpected visit to Ankara of the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Alaadin Boroujerdi yesterday. Boroujerdi, who brought a message from Iranian President Hasimi Rafsanjani to his Turkish counterpart Suleyman Demirel, met with Deputy Undersecretary Korkmaz Haktanir and Undersecretary Onur Oymen for more than four hours.

Prior to his meeting, Oymen described Turkey and Iran to the press as two large states with ties of friendship between them. "Friends speak openly, we have common interests in the region but there are also security problems. This year alone we have had high-level contact 49 times in relation to the struggle against terrorism. Maximum attention should be paid to the improvement of reciprocal cooperation; we will have open and sincere talks" Oymen said.

Boroujerdi had, before his arrival, in a public statement in Iran said he would discuss the situation in northern Iraq, and later reported to the press that his meetings were very positive. "Even if we have problems, the solution is talks. We want to help our neighbour with its security problems and we want to do our best. This is our wish. We will make every effort to improve our relations and this is our hope" Boroujerdi said. He also recalled that Iranian President Rafsanjani would be in Turkey for the D-8 summit in Turkey.