Iran is keen to hold talks with Kuwait to resume export of gas, according to the Islamic republic’s deputy petroleum minister for international affairs.

Iran was ready to “resume relevant talks” with Kuwait and hoped for adequate ground to pursue bilateral negotiation in the gas sector, said Amir-Hossein Zamaninia in comments reported by Mehr News Agency.

“Shipment of natural gas to neighbouring countries remains as a top priority for Iran. Given the rise in the country’s output capacity, the possibility exists to deploy as portion of the produced gas to applicant countries,” he said.

He added that Iran would prioritise export of gas to India and China over European states.

Negotiations between Iran and Kuwait to reach a gas export agreement were ongoing prior to the lift of nuclear-related sanctions over Tehran.

However, the souring diplomatic ties between the GCC and Iran has proved detrimental to establishing economic relations. Last year, Kuwait followed Saudi Arabia in recalling its envoy from Iran as tensions rose after the execution of a prominent Shia cleric in the kingdom, which led to violent protests outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Oman, the only GCC member not to downgrade diplomatic relations with Iran, has continued to pursue its gas interests with Iran.

Last week, the two countries signed an agreement reiterating their commitment to building an undersea gas pipeline, albeit one that bypasses the UAE’s territorial waters.