Iran eyes Europe gas deal
Athens, January 28, 2009
Iran is keen to discuss a deal to supply gas to the energy-hungry European continent, a senior Iranian official said.
'Iran is ready to discuss not just supply but also 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,' Iranian deputy foreign minister Mehdi Safari said in an Athens lecture, according to our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.
Europe currently obtains the bulk of its gas from Russia, but a standoff this month between Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz and Russian energy giant Gazprom resulted in several European countries being deprived of gas supplies for two weeks amid freezing winter temperatures.
A deputy minister for European affairs, Safari yesterday said Switzerland recently signed a contract for Iranian gas deliveries via Turkey and European investors are participating in a new pipeline project to the West.
Both Iran and Russia are part of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum that was formed last month.