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Iran urged foreign companies to return to its oil sector Tuesday as a major French business delegation visited Tehran in the hope Western sanctions may soon be lifted.Major oil companies have steered clear of Iran in recent years because of strict Western sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear activities.Western countries have long suspected Iran of covertly pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its uranium enrichment program, allegations denied by Iran.The November agreement between Iran and the P5+1 – Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany – requires Iran to scale back its nuclear activities for limited sanctions relief.Iran possesses the world's fourth-largest oil reserves and the second-largest gas reserves, but its petroleum exports have plummeted more than 50 percent because of the Western sanctions.
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