Iran is pitching its massive oil sector for trade with Asia where it sees a better market for exports than Europe.
Deputy Oil Minister for Trade and International Affairs told Kyodo news agency in an interview on Sunday that gas prices are more attractive in East Asia than in Europe and Iran hopes to eventually export natural oil to East Asia, including Japan.
He also held out the prospect of Iran and Japan forming a long-term partnership for the supply of Iranian LNG to the Asian country.
Tehran supplied 10 percent of Japan's oil imports before sanctions cut them to five percent. Japan wants to raise the purchases to the previous level.
"Given that Iran's oil and natural oil reserves are one of the world's biggest, there is a possibility that Iran will play a part if Japan seeks to diversify its supply sources," Kyodo quoted a Japanese gas and oil industry source as saying on Sunday.
Zamani-Nia said Japanese companies are interested in reengaging in Iran's energy sector, particularly in the gas industry, adding he believes that Japan's current policy seems to be less geared towards crude oil.