TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey is not the only option for a transit route to deliver Iranian natural gas to European markets, Iran’s Ambassador to Turkey Alireza Bigdeli told journalists in Ankara over the weekend.
Despite uncertainty concerning the future of sanctions on Iran, Ankara has been seeking to reach an agreement with Tehran to build the Iran-Turkey-Europe Natural Gas Pipeline Project (ITE) to transfer natural gas sourced in Iran via Turkey to Europe.
Bigdeli said on Sunday that Iran and Turkey have continued discussions about a possible agreement over the ITE, adding, however, that Turkey may not be the only option to realize the project. “Turkey is a good candidate for the natural gas project in my opinion, but not the only route. …the project has to be considered with several complicated cost-benefit calculations,” Bikdeli said.
The history of the pipeline goes back several years. The Iranian Ministry of Oil and the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Ministry signed an agreement protocol on Nov. 17, 2008 for for the transit through Turkey of natural gas sourced in Iran. However, no significant developments in the pipeline project have occurred amid US calls on Turkey to reconsider the project.
Talks between Ankara and Tehran regarding the idea of delivering Turkmen gas to Turkey through the Caspian Sea also continue, Bikdeli said. In an interview with Today’s Zaman in June last year, Bikdeli had opposed the delivery of Turkmen gas to Turkey via Caspian Sea, adding, “This business should be done through Iran.”
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