Turkey to take Iranian gas price to arbitration
Turkey is planning to play arbitration card against Iran for natural gas discount. Reuters photoInternational arbitration over the price of Iranian natural gas is “inevitable” due to Tehran’s reluctance to provide a discount, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said yesterday, just a day before Iran’s foreign minister comes to Turkey for economic cooperation talks.
“We have close cooperation with Iran in natural gas and we shared with them our unease about the high gas price. They did not share the same view,” Yıldız told reporters.
“Our demand for a discount continues. An international arbitration tribunal is inevitable,” he said, adding that there was only a week left for negotiations. “If they want to talk, we are ready.”
The issue was not initially supposed to be on the agenda of the Turkey-Iran Joint Economic Commission meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 18 and will feature Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, an energy ministry official said.
The discount Russia recently made for Turkey had led to “quite a difference” between the prices of Russian and Iranian gas, the official said, adding that Iran also failed to deliver the promised quantities.
Turkey has already won an arbitration case against Iran over deliveries of sub-standard quality gas, he added.
Turkish officials involved in the negotiations are said to be using the growing pressure on Tehran as a bargaining chip to secure a discount.