2 September 2023
4 November 2023


LEGAL UPDATE: September 2023

Navigating New Horizons: Iran Reinforces Relations with Regional and South Asian Nations

In recent diplomatic endeavors, Iran is spearheading a renewed focus on bolstering economic and trade ties across the Middle East and South Asia. The web of interactions spans from the Arabian Peninsula to the Indian subcontinent.

The United Arab Emirates and Iran are making significant strides in rejuvenating their economic ties. Since the UAE central bank has begun to ease pressure, Emirati banks have started re-engaging with Iranian businesses, marking a resurgence of Iranian companies that had previously been inactive in the UAE. Additionally, the two nations are on the verge of signing memorandums of understanding focusing on mutual investments and the avoidance of double taxation. This development followed extensive discussions between the Iranian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ehsan Khandouzi, and the UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini.

With Iraq, the strong historical and energy ties underscore the current relationship. Iraq continues to be a pivotal consumer of Iranian gas and electricity, underlining the interconnectedness of their economies. Regular engagements between Iranian and Iraqi officials ensure that the mutual interests in the energy sector are continually emphasized and enhanced.

In the realm of oil magnates, Saudi Arabia and Iran are reconstructing their ties. The potential for the oil industry to solidify the shared economic interests of these nations is evident from engagements between the Iranian Oil Minister, Javad Oji, and Saudi counterparts. The resumption of ties and discussions centered around the oil industry signify a movement towards greater regional stability.

India and Iran's ties, rooted in ancient trade connections, are finding contemporary relevance. With strategic projects such as the Chabahar Port acting as a linchpin, the partnership is set to expand in the areas of energy cooperation and potential technology transfers.

Egypt and Iran, though having a layered relationship historically, are realigning interests for regional stability and shared economic growth. The nuances of their relationship are continually being redefined, with diplomatic dialogues at the forefront of this evolution.

Oman, a vital mediator and neighbor to Iran, maintains its crucial role in Middle Eastern diplomacy. Their shared interest, especially concerning the strategically significant Strait of Hormuz, ensures that both nations frequently engage in discussions about regional security and trade.

With Iran at the nexus of these evolving relationships, the prospects for enhanced cooperation and mutual growth among these countries are becoming more tangible. The collective endeavors in areas of energy, infrastructure, and regional stability predict a promising trajectory for these nations' interconnected futures.

Iran's Steel and Sponge Iron Sectors: A Beacon of Resilience and Innovation in Global Markets

According to recent data from the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA), Iran witnessed a remarkable 249.4% increase in sponge iron exports during the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year, compared to the same period of the previous year. This equates to an impressive 580,000 tons of exported sponge iron, a notable jump from the 166,000 tons in the previous year. Sponge iron, also known as direct reduced iron (DRI), is a key component in steel production and is created from the direct reduction of iron ore using reducing gas or elemental carbon.

The surge in production and export can be attributed to multiple factors. New sponge iron plants have been established, and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) has emphasized the critical role of the private sector. Notably, with the implementation of the Persian Direct Reduction (PERED) technology, Iran not only boosted its production but also made a technological leap by establishing China’s first gas-based sponge iron production unit. This initiative was not solely about enhancing production but represented a significant technology transfer to a global powerhouse in steel production. PERED technology stands out for its efficiency and superior quality of sponge iron metallization.

Complementing the sponge iron sector's achievements, the World Steel Association (WSA) reported a 4.1% rise in Iran's steel output in the first seven months of 2023 compared to the same timeframe in the preceding year. Climbing from 10th to 8th place globally, Iran's steel industry has demonstrated its unwavering strength. Even as the global steel production faced a decline, Iran bucked the trend, producing 3.2 million tons of crude steel in June alone. Given this trajectory, projections indicate that Iran is on course to secure the seventh spot among the world's top steel producers by March 2025.

Iran's Oil Renaissance: August Gains and Petrotech's Innovations Showcase

Iran demonstrated a remarkable stride in its oil production this past August, reaching three million barrels per day (bpd) and establishing itself as OPEC's third-largest producer. This impressive five percent increase from July has placed Iran ahead of many fellow OPEC countries, despite prevailing U.S. sanctions and OPEC's instituted output cuts.

The country's oil figures are not the only aspect garnering attention. August witnessed Iranian heavy oil prices escalating to $87.58 per barrel, a notable rise from July's $81.48. These gains are reflected in the export estimates, which indicate that Iran's exports hovered around 3.15 million bpd in August.

Amidst this oil renaissance, the upcoming Petrotech event in late December 2023 emerges as a focal point for the nation's petroleum industry. Spearheaded by the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) in partnership with the Oil Ministry and major oil companies, this year's Petrotech aims to be a nexus for knowledge-based collaborations, showcasing the industry's recent innovations and technological breakthroughs.


In recent diplomatic endeavors, Iran is spearheading a renewed focus on bolstering economic and trade ties across the Middle East and South Asia. The web of interactions spans from the Arabian Peninsula to the Indian subcontinent.