Iraqi delegation visits Iran seeking expansion of energy ties

September 29, 2021 - 15:28

TEHRAN – An Iraqi delegation headed by the country’s Electricity Minister Majid Mahdi Hantoush visited Tehran on Saturday to discuss the expansion of energy ties with Iran, especially gas imports from the country, Shana reported.

The delegation met with senior Iranian officials including Oil Minister Javad Oji and the Head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Majid Chegeni.

During the meeting with Chegeni, the NIGC head expressed Iran’s readiness for extending gas export deals between the two countries.

Chegeni, who is also the Deputy Oil Minister for Gas Affairs, said: "Our relationship with Iraq is strategic and apart from economic relations, we have deep cultural and religious relations that are very important. The more our cooperation, especially in the field of energy, the deeper and more objective these relations will be.”

He underlined strong energy diplomacy as one of the major priorities of Oil Ministry, and added: "As mentioned in the meeting with the oil minister while asking the Iraqi side to adhere to current contracts and previous agreements, we are ready to consider new proposals from the Iraqi Electricity Ministry to extend the gas export contract to that country.”

Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji, in his meeting with the Iraqi Minister of Electricity, stated that negotiations with various parties to increase gas exports and trade are among the priorities of President Raisi administration.

Iran has inked two separate contracts to export the product to the Iraqi cities of Basra and Baghdad.

Given Iraq's need for natural gas for consumption in power plants, negotiations on importing Iranian gas were started in late 2010 while a contract for gas sales to Baghdad was sealed in June 2013.

The two countries also inked the agreement for the deployment of natural gas to Basra in October 2015, but the exports were halted due to payment issues.

Later on, the Iraqi government approved a deal in late 2017 to import gas from Iran to the eastern border province of Diyala, increasing purchases of the Iranian fuel, which were resumed in June 2017 after several years of hiatus.

EF/MA

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