Iran ' s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says North Korea is negotiating with Tehran over the possibility of importing oil from the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian oil minister made the remarks in a press conference on the sidelines of the 18th International Oil, Gas, Refining, and Petrochemical Exhibition in Iran’s capital, Tehran, ISNA reported. Qasemi expressed hope that an agreement would be reached between the two countries considering North Korea’s willingness to import Iran’s crude. The Iranian minister added that Tehran has economic relations with many countries including Syria, adding that the Islamic Republic is sill exporting oil to Damascus despite the recent developments in the country.

Qasemi also said, “We have declared to Lebanon our readiness to participate in their explorations. ”

The 18th International Oil, Gas, Refining, and Petrochemical Exhibition opened at Tehran’s permanent International Fairgrounds on April 18. Qasemi said on April 16 that the oil show in Tehran is “a clear manifestation of the failure and ineffectiveness” of the sanctions engineered by the United States against Iran, adding that the exhibit would showcase the “technical and industrial strength” of Iran’s energy sector. More than 1,000 Iranian and foreign companies planned to attend the four - day exhibition. At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The illegal US - engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non - civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non - Proliferation Treaty(NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.