Iran nuke row nixes Turkey’s oil efforts
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Pakistani PM Gilani, Afghan President Karzai and his Iranian and Pakistani counterparts, Ahmedinejad and Zardari, (from left) meet for a key summit in Islamabad. AP photoGlobal instability stemming in part from tensions between Washington and Tehran over the latter’s nuclear program are resulting in increased domestic energy costs in Turkey despite Ankara’s best efforts to import more affordable energy resources, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said yesterday.
“Energy prices continues to rise with the pressure triggered by the global political instability in spite of all of Turkey’s efforts to bring down the prices through bilateral agreements,” said Yıldız during a Turkey-South Africa Joint Economic Commission meeting in Ankara.
“We are not pleased with this,” Yıldız added.
“Turkey’s efforts – to agree on cheaper energy imports – are still considered wasted,” Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.
Noting that crude oil prices per barrel have risen from $108 to $118 due to Western threats to impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and Tehran’s counter-threats to close the Strait of Hormuz to tanker traffic, Yıldız said, “Even uttering the word sanction is enough to be a burden on our shoulders.”
But Yıldız also said Turkey’s trade relations with Iran were suffering no problem and were instead continuing as usual.
Despite Turkey’s extraordinary winter conditions, the country continues to import gas and oil without problem from its eastern neighbor.
“Our demands for cheaper natural gas are continuing on a different line than our trade relations with Iran,” Yıldız said.
Turkey took Iran to the International Arbitration Court on Jan. 16 due to a dispute over gas prices.
Iraq eyes alternatives
Iraq is also considering options to export crude from its southern terminals if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, the transit point for about two-thirds of its production, Iraqi Planning Minister Ali Youssef al-Shukri was quoted as saying by Bloomberg yesterday.
Turkey’s southern neighbor is considering three alternative routes, including to the west through Syria and Lebanon and to the north through Turkey’s southern port Ceyhan on the Mediterranean, he said.
“The Iraqi government is worried about the issue of closing the Strait of Hormuz,” he added.