September 4, 2015 / 12:19 PM / 2 years ago

Spain sending high-level business delegation to Iran

MADRID, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Spain is sending a high-level government and business delegation to Iran next week, joining other countries drawn to Tehran by the possibility of lucrative opportunities that could be unlocked by a nuclear deal.

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Public Works Minister Ana Pastor and Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Soria will accompany about 40 Spanish businesses, a diplomatic source said.

The ministers are due to hold talks with their Iranian counterparts while the corporate executives will meet Iranian business people in Iran on Monday, the source said.

The companies are active in areas such as infrastructure, energy, tourism, railways and chemicals where there could be big investment opportunities in Iran.

The Spanish government did not name the business executives travelling, but newspaper Cinco Dias said they would include Josu Jon Imaz, chief executive of Spanish oil firm Repsol and a senior executive of oil firm CEPSA. Repsol declined to confirm the report and CEPSA could not immediately be reached for comment.

Business delegations from around the world have hurried to Tehran since Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on July 14, capping more than a decade of negotiations.

The deal could lead to international sanctions being lifted in early 2016 and open Iran, an energy exporter with a population of 80 million, to world markets.

At a business conference in Vienna in July, officials said Tehran had identified nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185 billion that it hoped to sign by 2020. Iran has also offered to sell state assets to foreigners. (Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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