Iran plans to relocate an airport in the southwest of the country after discovering oil deposits under its runway, media reported on Saturday.

The National Iranian Oil Company "intends to buy Ahvaz airport due to the existence of oil deposits under the airport's tarmac," the state broadcaster's website quoted Mohammad Rasoulinejad, managing director of the Iranian Airports Company, as saying.

"The government has approved the relocation of the airport," Rasoulinejad said, adding that the new airport will be built 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the city.

He did not give any details about the oil deposits.

Rasoulinejad said that the airport is among "the country's busiest" with some 30 flights per day, adding that relocating it would also enable its much-needed expansion.

The NIOC did not comment on the government's decision.

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