Iran to fulfill arbitration decision on gas discount: Senior official
A general view shows a unit of South Pars Gas field in Asalouyeh Seaport, north of Persian Gulf, Iran in this November 19, 2015 file photo. REUTERS PhotoIran has accepted a recent decision by the International Court of Arbitration over discounted Iranian gas being sold to Turkey and will meet the decision by giving Turkey more gas or through cash payments, a senior Iranian official has said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
“We need to meet what the arbitration ruling requires by offering more gas or making cash payment to Turkey. Don’t worry; we’ll pay what’s necessary. This issue will be resolved,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour, as quoted by the state-run agency.
He noted that Iran and Turkey had different views about the gas sales before.
“Some disagreements could not been avoided and the issue was then brought to the arbitration court. We have now accepted the arbitration ruling, which is in favor of Turkey. The Court of Arbitration told us, ‘This decision was made, and it is now your turn to come together and agree.’ We have now in this process with Turkey,” he said.
Turkey, which buys around 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Iran, opened two separate cases against Iran in 2012. One of the cases was over higher gas prices and another was over deficiencies in gas distribution. In the second case, the court sided with Iran.
The court ruled against Iran in its other gas dispute with Turkey, according officials from both countries speaking on Feb. 2.
Rahimpour said specialists from the two countries have already come together to discuss the results of the arbitration ruling.
“Most probably, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh will visit Turkey soon. This issue will be resolved soon. Our specialists have already discussed the issue. Our gas has been flowing into Turkey,” he noted.
Turkey and Iran must decide within three months on the level of discount Turkey will receive on Iranian gas, Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said on Feb. 9.
Rahimpour also said Iran needs to complete 2,000 projects in the initial stage in the post-sanction era.
Iran has emerged as a new center of attraction for the world’s largest economies, after the removal of sanctions allowed the oil-rich country to access more than $100 billion in assets abroad as well as increase oil and natural gas exports to consumers. In an interview with Hürriyet Daily News, Iranian ambassador to Turkey Ali Reza Bikdeli said the Iranian energy portfolio was up to $300 billion.