Iran using oil, natural gas resources to find fast friends

Much in the way the kid with the backyard swimming pool and the trampoline always manages to rustle up friends, Iran is turning to its oil and gas reserves to leverage alliances with influential Eastern nations — and rather urgently, as it faces the threat of sanctions from the U.S. and Europe over its nuclear program. With oil prices rising and anxiety over oil supplies in fast-growing nations rising alongside, Iran’s holdings — 10 percent of the world’s oil and the second-largest gas reserves — give it increasing leverage. In addition to giving Japan better access to its oil last year, Iran has reached out to both China and India, two of the market’s boomingest consumers, signing long-term supply deals. In an effort to lure its arch rival to the pool party, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, a senior adviser to Iran’s oil ministries, offers this: “Security of supplies is our bread and butter. If the United States is looking for security of supplies, Iran is an inevitable partner.”