The government of Iran is planning to issue up to €5bn ($7bn) in bonds for the development of the energy industry, according to the official news agency Mehr.

“Based on next year’s budget bill, which has been presented by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad early on Sunday [24 January], the government permits the Oil Ministry to issue up to €5bn bonds to help finance development of the country’s oil, gas and petrochemical sectors,” the agency said.

The bonds would be issued in the next Iranian year, which starts on 21 March.

Iranian officials have been discussing the possibility of bond issues for some time. In September 2009, Mohammad Hassan Mousavizadeh, a senior adviser to Iran’s Pars Oil & Gas Company, said a €1bn bond was being considered to finance the development of the South Pars natural gas field.