Iran 'Can Supply Gas to Europe', Says Industry Minister
Iran could be a "reliable, secure and long-term" gas supplier to Europe, the country's Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said in an Interview.
Nematzadeh asserted that Iran did not "want to compete with Russia," but knew that Europe's demand for gas was increasing and "would like a share of this".
Speaking to the German business daily Handelsblatt, the Iranian minister was firm that, "as far as Russia is concerned, this is a decision for Europe".
The offer comes at a time when Europe is exploring options of reducing its energy dependence on Russia, amid a crisis in Ukraine that might disrupt supplies to EU countries or trigger sanctions against Moscow.
Iran has long seemed an unlikely partner for gas supplies to Europe, despite ranking among the world's biggest energy exporters.
Tehran was subject to international (and additional US) sanctions due to its controversial nuclear program, even though world powers seem to be making progress in negotiations with the Islamic Republic aimed at curbing nuclear activity.
The election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran's President has also led to smoothing out some points of controversy.
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