Turkey delaying gas pipeline repair for unknown reasons: Iran
Iran Press TV
Monday, 25 May 2020 3:15 PM
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says he is unaware why Turkey has been delaying repair work on an Iranian gas pipeline that was blown up in late March.
"I don't know for what reason the repair has been delayed," said Zanganeh, adding that such repair works usually takes several days to complete.
The comments come against then backdrop of reports suggesting that Turkey is deliberately delaying the repairs on the gas pipeline that was blown up on March 31. Those report say Ankara is trying to get a price reduction from Iran while it also seeks to appease the United States which pressures other countries to halt energy trade with Iran.
Zanganeh said that Turkey has also refused to allow Iran to carry out the repair work on then gas pipeline.
"We declared that we are ready to repair this pipeline for them but the Turks did not welcome this proposal," he said.
Some sources say Turkey has blamed the spread of the new coronavirus in both Iran and Turkey as a reason for halting the repair work.
Along Russia and Azerbaijan, Iran is one of the three pipeline suppliers of gas to Turkey with figures last year suggesting the country imported 17 percent of its total gas imports from Iran.
However, Ankara has increased its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States this year and experts believe the Turkish government plans to further increase LNG shipments from the US as it seeks to repair its badly-strained ties with Washington.
Elsewhere in his remarks on Monday, Zanganeh said Iran has finalized a new contract with neighboring Iraq to export natural gas to the southern port of Basra.
He rejected reports that the pipeline to Basra would finally transfer Iran's gas to the Syrian city of Latakia, saying Iran has currently no plan to launch gas exports to Syria.
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