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TEHERAN, August 10. /TASS/. Iran has announced the beginning of negotiations with Azerbaijan on joint exports of natural gas to global markets, the ISNA news agency said on Monday.
It might be a "sign that Tehran may have already revived plans to pipe gas to Europe," the agency said.
ISNA cited Alireza Kameli, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), as saying that his company had plunged into talks on that matter with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR. "Tehran and Baku have conducted negotiations over joint investments in gas export projects," Kameli reportedly said.
Thanks to its enormous gas reserves, Iran could have long been a key gas exporter to Europe, the agency said, adding that the issue was coming to the fore in view prospects of the abandonment of anti-Iranian sanctions as the Iranian nuclear deal had finally been signed.
However, in the current conditions, cooperation with Azerbaijan, according to ISNA, appears the most promising project. During a recent visit to Teheran, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy and Industry Shakhin Mustafayev reportedly told Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh that Iran could use Azerbaijan’s infrastructure to pump its oil to world markets.
"Iran can use Azerbaijan’s infrastructure, especially the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline to export its oil," Mustafayev was quoted as saying. He also invited Iran to join the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project in the future.
The TANAP projected is a 1,850-kilometer pipeline to pump gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 field in the Caspian Sea to Turkey and further on to Europe. Construction works began in March, 2015 and is expected to be over in 2018.