Iran’s Oil Ministry said on Saturday that the country was considering exporting oil to North Korea as a way to improve its battered economy.
Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi told a briefing that talks were underway between Tehran and Pyongyang on oil exports.
“We have had, and continue to have, negotiations with the North Koreans who have requested to buy Iranian oil. We are discussing the procedure and we don’t have any problem selling them oil,” he said.
Ghasemi also admitted that Iran was feeling the strain of sanctions, but said it would not get in the way of the transportation of its oil to “any country, in any part of the world.”
An oil deal between Iran and North Korea would bring the nations, deeply at odds with the U.S. and the West, closer together.
In September, they signed a scientific and technological cooperation agreement.
Iranian and North Korean officials have said in the past that their nations were in “one trench” in the confrontation with Western powers.
But Iran has denied a U.N. report saying the two have exchanged ballistic missiles, components and technology in violation of U.N. sanctions.
A delegation from North Korea’s oil ministry is currently visiting Iran.