Over 315 foreign companies form 44 countries would participate in the Iran's 17th International Oil, Gas, Refining, and Petrochemical Exhibition. The presence of foreign companies is despite the Western countries sanctions on Iranian oil industry. Es’haq Rouyvar, the director of the 17th Iran oil show stressed that the event will kick off in Tehran on April 17 in presence of several high ranking Iranian officials and will last for four days. Out of over 1,255 Iranian and foreign companies which have voiced their willingness to participate in the exhibition, 940 domestic and 315 foreign companies will take part in the event, he said. “Despite the international sanctions on Iran, the number of the countries participating in this year’s exhibition has increased by about 10 percent compared to the last year,” Rouyvar said. Participation of several international oil companies from the USA, Germany, the UK, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia and Norway in the exhibition indicates the importance of Iran oil industry in international arenas, he said. On January 23, EU foreign ministers approved sanctions against Tehran, including a ban on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) within the bloc’s states and a ban on selling diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to Tehran.