A spokesperson for the Energy Commission of the Mejlis (Parliament) of Iran Mostafa Nakhaei has called for the resumption of natural gas imports from Turkmenistan, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday with reference to the official’s interview with the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).
“It is true that we have huge gas resources, and we also export gas to both Turkey and Iraq, but this does not contradict gas imports from Turkmenistan,” Nakhaei said in an interview, commenting on the situation with gas imports from Turkmenistan.
He added that the rupture of gas trade with Turkmenistan negatiýely impacted Iran, stressing that the issue of gas imports does not contradict the general policy of the country's energy independence.
According to Nakhaei, the resumption of gas imports from Turkmenistan, which is on the agenda of Iran's oil ministry, could partially offset the country's possible natural gas shortage in winter, and this measure, in addition to meeting domestic needs, has also diplomatic significance.
“In the east, southeast and some northern regions of the country, we do not have proper infrastructure and there are problems with energy supply, so gas imports from Turkmenistan are a good help in this regard,” Nakhaei noted.
The Iranian parliamentarian stressed that if the government goes to negotiations and succeeds, it will be a big event and a step forward in ensuring the country's interests, implementing gas diplomacy and strengthening relations with neighboring countries.
In January 1, 2017, Turkmenistan has stopped gas exports to Iran due to the large debt of the Iranian company for the previous gas supplies. After lengthy negotiations, the parties did not come to a solution on the issue of payments and the Turkmen Gas State Concern was forced to file a claim with the ICC International Court of Arbitration (ICA).
In 2020, the ICA announced a verdict over the Iranian-Turkmen gas dispute in favor of Turkmenistan.