Iran ready to pipe gas to the EU

January 23, 2008

TEHRAN/SOFIA - Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has announced that Iran is ready to supply gas for a major European Union pipeline scheme, but added that it is up to the bloc to decide whether it wanted it or not, Reuters reported.

“What happens in Europe and what choice Europe will make depends only on Europe,” Mottaki told a news conference in Bulgaria on Tuesday.
“As far as we know, the European Union emphasizes the need to diversify gas supplies… One of the areas where Iran can have energy cooperation with Europe is Nabucco,” Mottaki said.
The shareholders in the 5-billion-euro Nabucco, which aims to bring Caspian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe, have so far secured supplies from Azerbaijan.
Nabucco is the key to EU efforts to diversify gas supplies away from Russia after a political dispute between Moscow and Kiev cut exports in 2006. Russia supplies a quarter of the EU’s gas.
Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel has also said Iran is interested in supplying gas to the European Union.
In a meeting with Bulgarian Parliament Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Solomon Pasi in Tehran on Tuesday, Haddad-Adel said, “Iran is determined to implement the project of transferring gas to Europe.”
He also called for the expansion of comprehensive ties with Bulgaria.
The reason behind Iran’s stability in the region is the Iranian nation’s participation in the country’s political life in the face of mounting threats against and pressure on the Islamic Republic, the Iranian parliament speaker noted.
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranians have faced all kinds of accusations from the United States, whose interests are no longer served in the Islamic Republic, he added.
Pasi stated that Bulgaria is interested in boosting cooperation with Iran, saying, “Iran is an important country and plays an influential role in the region. The expansion of comprehensive relations with Iran is a priority in Bulgaria’s foreign policy.