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MADRID (IRNA) -- Iranian Oil Ministry Deputy for International Affairs Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said that Iran could run out of oil reserves in nine decades.
Speaking at a gathering dubbed "Iran in the 21st century: Energy and Security" here Monday, he cited latest figures which put Iran's crude oil reserves at 137 billion barrels, accounting for 11.6 percent of the world's total reserves.
He also said that Iran has about 29,000 billion cubic meters of gas which is 15.3 percent of the world's total gas reserves.
Quoting research findings, the official said that due to the fact that Iran's gas reserves were diminishing and gas and oil production in other parts of the world was uneconomical, the Middle East could emerge as the biggest supplier of the world's needed energy by 2030, supplying about 95 percent of global requirement.
His prediction, he believes, proves why the ruling neo-conservatives in the U.S. are concentrating on gaining full dominance over the Middle East region.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq by the U.S. was dictated by this eventuality, he added.
He also said that the animosity of the U.S. and its allies against Iran was rooted in this politico-economic consideration.
Nejad-Hosseinian further remarked that Iran favored a more active role by Europe in the energy sector but noted that certain political problems and differences in opinion have so far prevented the signing of long-term investment contracts with Iran's European partners, a fact that has encouraged Tehran to get closer to some Asian countries like China and Japan for long-term cooperation.
Turning to Iran-Spain cooperation in the oil and gas field, the oil ministry deputy pointed out that Iran sold about 90,000 barrels of crude to a number of Spanish companies, and voiced Iran's readiness to cooperate with Spain in oil projects.
Pointing out that the Shell and Repsol contracts, which take up 25 percent of Iran's LNG gas project each have already been finalized, he expressed hope Iran would be able to start gas exports to Spain in 2010.
The one-day gathering, dubbed "Iran in the 21st century: Energy and Security" was attended by tens of experts from Madrid.