Iran eyes gas deal with Europe

Thursday, 29 January 2009, 06:58 Hrs
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Tehran: Iran is interested to discuss a deal to supply gas to the energy-hungry European continent, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Wednesday, quoting a senior official.

"Iran is ready to discuss not just the supply but also the security. Energy security is the most important project which we are available to discuss.... If the West asks for sustainable energy, Iran is available to talk," Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari was quoted as saying.

"Switzerland recently signed a contract for Iranian gas deliveries via Turkey and European investors are participating in a new pipeline project to the West," Safari added while anticipating other Europeans' inclination for the similar deal.

A gas dispute between the two former Soviet republics, Russia and Ukraine, since Jan 1 over gas pricing and shipment fees left more than a dozen of European nations without gas amid freezing weather conditions.

On Monday, foreign ministers of 27 member states of the European Union (EU) opened their two-day monthly meeting in Brussels, with the focus on energy security for the regional bloc. The meeting came six days after Russia resumed gas supply to EU member states last Tuesday.

Earlier in November, Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said his country would make a $12-billion investment in Iran on the basis of an agreement signed between the two countries to construct a 1,800-km gas pipeline from Assalouyeh, a gas field in southern Iran's Bushehr province, to the Turkish border.

Simultaneously, Tehran and Ankara also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the basis of which the gas would be piped to Europe.
Source: IANS
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