Iran’s Acting Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said 92 oil companies would be privatized in line with Article 44 of the Constitution.
“All refineries of the country along with state-run petrochemical complexes excluding the three main petrochemical companies are subject to ‘Note A’ of the article and 100 percent of their shares will be offered,” reported PIN Quoting the caretaker as saying.
He said the three petrochemical complexes of Bandar Imam, Amir Kabir, and Maroun were covered by ‘Note C’ of the article and 80 percent of their shares would be saleable as they were suppliers of other petrochemical plants.
The Article 44 Special Commission vice chairman said National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) was the sole company in the industry that had been excluded from the privatization plan.
In an exclusive interview with PIN, Adel Azar added, “Based on Article 44 of the Constitution, the NIOC is included in ‘Note C’ and the government is not authorized to offer its management to the nongovernmental sector.”
He said the privatization of other affiliates of oil industry was obligatory according to the article and there was no legal prohibition in this regard.
According to the Fourth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2005-2010), the Iranian Privatization Organization affiliated to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance is in charge of setting prices and ceding shares to the general public and on the stock market.
In 2007, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged the government officials to speed up implementation of the policies outlined in the amendment of Article 44, and to move towards economic Privatization. Ayatollah Khamenei also said that ownership rights should be protected in courts set up by the Justice Ministry.