Japan's Inpex Corp. might participate in a tender to develop the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran and form a consortium with other foreign oil firms to that end, a high-ranking Iranian official says.

If Inpex gets involved in the Azadegan again — after giving up its stake in the development project in 2010 to avoid being placed on a list of companies subject to U.S. sanctions over Iran's nuclear program — it would be a symbolic achievement as Japan tries to resume investment in the country.

"Inpex replied to our invitation letter for international bid, then told us they liked to be our partner in developing Azadegan," Ali Kardor, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Co. and also deputy oil minister of Iran, said in a recent interview.