Proven oil reserves in Iran, according to its government, are the fourth-largest in the world with approximately 158 billion barrels as of 2013. The country is also the world’s biggest gas reserve holder (33.5 trillion cubic meters or 18 percent of the total).

The Islamic Republic is among the 10 major mineral-rich countries. It possesses seven percent of the world’s total mineral deposits with about 68 kinds of commercially valued minerals, including gold reserves. The volume of Iran’s minerals is estimated at 57 billion tons.

Such reserves present a unique opportunity for the country’s development, but they can also be seen as a negative factor, if the administration is encouraged to gain huge money through sales of raw materials.

A look at the list of Iran’s top exports indicates that raw materials make up a dominant share its non-oil export basket. Gas condensates, propane, butane and some other raw oil products — which Iran puts in the non-oil exports basket — made the country’s top exported goods in the five months from March 21.

The government tries to benefit from the removal of the international sanctions, attracting foreign investments to form a more diverse and globally ‎competitive economy and safeguard the economy against future shocks and restrictions.

However the country can make its raw material reserves an opportunity to attract foreign investors. Mining and mineral industries are suitable grounds for attracting investment and Iran has defined projects worth some $30 billion in mining and mineral industries such as steel, copper, aluminum and gold, according to local officials.

Foreign investors are also well-aware of the Iranian mineral market’s benefits. A visiting French official involved in plastic industry, who attended the Iran Plast Exhibition in Tehran, described the abundant raw materials as the main reason for the interest of the Europeans in cooperating with Iran in this sphere.

There is a brilliant path ahead of the Iranian administration, to revise its regional policies, expand cooperation with the globe, to gain trust of the foreigners for investment, in order to revive the country’s sanction-hit economy.

Source: Iran Daily