Iran signals discount in gas price to Turkey

Iran signals discount in gas price to Turkey

ANKARA - Reuters
Iran signals discount in gas price to Turkey

Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Ali Reza Bikdeli (C) speaks to journalists on Nov. 17. AA Photo

Iran and Turkey should continue their gas price negotiations until they can find an acceptable price for each other, the Iranian ambassador to Turkey has said, signaling a decrease in the price of Iranian gas to Turkey.

“We may lose a good customer unless we accept Turkey’s gas price revision demand. We need to continue to have negotiations until both parties can find an acceptable price for each other,” Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Ali Reza Bikdeli told journalists on Nov. 17, after recent Turkish demands for a decrease in gas prices from Iran.

Both Turkey and Iran can ask for a revision in the price of gas according to the bilateral agreement, Bikdeli said.

“Nobody should see Turkey’s revision demand as an indication of a disagreement between Turkey and Iran,” he said, adding that both countries are also continuing their negotiations regarding Turkey’s potential purchase of extra gas from Iran this winter.

Turkey imports about 20 percent of its oil and gas needs from Iran, and Turkey appears to be one of the potential routes for the transfer of Iranian gas to global markets amid a possible loosening of sanctions.

“Turkey may not be the only option to become a transit route for Iranian gas, but to me it is the best option,” Bikdeli said, adding that the negotiations also continue to carry Turkmen gas to Turkey via Iran.

Bikdeli also said recent oil prices are not sustainable.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Oil Minister has accused some OPEC countries of making up excuses to justify their refusal to stabilize prices by cutting output. This was possibly a reference to Saudi Arabia, after a Saudi official on Nov. 16 insisted the issue should be left to market forces. The Saudi finance minister said on Nov. 17 that the plunge in oil prices would have no direct impact on next year’s budget or government spending.

Bikdeli said the nuclear energy talks between Iran and Western countries will create opportunities for Iran and Turkey to foster their bilateral relations.

“Some countries are now eyeing to build relationship with Iran after they had imposed sanctions on Iran for years. When Iran and European countries create closer relations after the nuclear energy talks, Iran and Turkey will also create more opportunities to become closer,” he added.

Bikdeli noted that Turkey and Iran had agreed to resolve the recent border passage crisis as well.

“As Turkey has asked, Iranian trucks will not buy gas in Turkey’s borders and Turkish trucks in Iranian borders. After the required technical preparations are made, maybe in 10 days, both parties will seal the gas tanks of each other’s trucks,” he said, while also taking the opportunity to stress that Turkey and Iran would “always cooperate in the fight against terrorism.”

“Iran always stands by Turkey’s side in the fight against terrorism. Our fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] will create a good opportunity for both Turkey and Iran to build closer ties in our region,” he said.