Reuters: Iran may review energy ties with Turkmenistan after the neighbouring country last month cut gas exports to the Islamic Republic, an Iranian official warned on Wednesday, saying Ashgabat could “not be trusted”. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran may review energy ties with Turkmenistan after the neighbouring country last month cut gas exports to the Islamic Republic, an Iranian official warned on Wednesday, saying Ashgabat could “not be trusted”.
Turkmenistan halted daily deliveries of up to 23 million cubic metres to Iran in late December, citing technical problems. Iranian officials say Turkmenistan wants to raise the price of its gas and have voiced increasing anger at the cut.
Iran, struggling with some of its coldest weather in decades, has subsequently halted its own natural gas exports to Turkey.
“This immoral behaviour by Turkmenistan has created problems for us and Turkey,” Ebadollah Ghanbari, head of the public relations unit of Iran’s national gas company, told Reuters.
“Surely Turkmenistan showed that it cannot be trusted and surely Iran, I feel, will review its trade activities with Turkmenistan, at least at its energy sector. We do not trust Turkmenistan anymore.”
Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said on January 13 that Iran might consider stopping purchasing Turkmen gas altogether if supplies did not resume.
Iran says Turkmenistan must resume gas exports before Tehran would be prepared to enter price talks with Ashgabat.
Despite sitting on the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia, analysts say Iran has been slow to develop the sector due to sanctions, politics and construction delays.
(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by William Hardy)