Iran’s vast oil and gas resources undermine the Iranian regime’s claim that its nuclear program is needed for domestic energy generation. Iran holds the world’s third largest known oil reserves, 132.5 billion barrels, and second largest natural gas reserves, 971 trillion cubic feet, representing 10 and 16 percent, respectively, of the totals.1 However, support for terrorism and economic mismanagement by the government have damaged oil and gas development in Iran. Specific impediments to development of these natural resources include:
- Membership in the OPEC cartel;
- Restrictive contracting practices;
- Threatening policies that provoke U.S. trade and investment sanctions; and
- State control of domestic energy prices.