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Energy

Iran jockeys for position in gas supplies to Europe

Iran's industry and trade minister has told German reporters his country should be considered as a reliable partner for natural gas supplies to Europe, once current sanctions are lifted. Russia is part of the equation.

Iran's new industry and trade minister, Mohammed Reza Nematzadeh, told Monday's edition of the German business daily Handelsblatt his country was aiming to play a major role on the international gas market.

Following a meeting with German business leaders in Berlin, the minister pointed out his country had the world's largest natural gas reserves and would be a reliable and long-term partner for Europe as the EU aims to decrease its dependency on Russian deliveries due to the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

Nematzadeh said his country's president, Hassan Rohani, and UN veto powers plus Germany were already seeking a partial lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear program.

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The minister added the government was looking into a pipeline that would transport gas from southern Iran to the Turkish border from which it could be pumped on to the West.

He added that before the sanctions went into force, there had already been concrete plans to deliver liquid gas to Spain, and feasibility studies for a separate pipeline to Europe were also under way.

Nematzadeh emphasized it was not intending to cut the ground from under Russia's feet, saying that Europe's hunger for energy was strong enough to provide good business for both Tehran and Moscow.

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