Iran General NewsSwiss foreign minister to sign Iran gas deal

Swiss foreign minister to sign Iran gas deal

-

Reuters: Switzerland’s foreign minister was travelling to Tehran on Sunday to sign a natural gas purchase contract between Iran and a Swiss utility, a deal she said could help ease Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. GENEVA, March 16 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s foreign minister was travelling to Tehran on Sunday to sign a natural gas purchase contract between Iran and a Swiss utility, a deal she said could help ease Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Micheline Calmy-Rey would also meet Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and other officials to discuss Iran’s human rights record and ongoing international concerns about the country’s nuclear programme.

The gas deal between Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg (EGL) and the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) does not violate United Nations or U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran, Calmy-Rey said.

“This contract does not violate any of the sanctions,” she told journalists before her departure at Geneva airport.

“It is planned that natural gas from Iran together with natural gas from Azerbaijan will one day feed into a gas pipeline running from Greece via Albania to Italy,” the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.

EGL said last year it had completed a 25-year deal with NIGEC to deliver 5.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year to Europe through a pipeline scheduled to be complete in 2010.

The energy group at the time declined to disclose the value of the deal, but said it was above 10 billion euros ($13.32 billion) and below 22 billion euros, depending on a number of factors such as the price of energy.

Calmy-Rey said she had been invited by Iran to visit and sign the deal. She said it was in Switzerland’s strategic interest to diversify its source of energy supplies.

“We decrease our dependence, and the dependence of Europe, on Russian gas,” she said.

Switzerland has worked in the past to find a compromise in Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West.

Washington has led international efforts to penalise Iran for failing to allay suspicions that it is seeking nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear programme is purely civilian. (Reporting by Laura MacInnis in Geneva and Douwe Miedema in Zurich; Editing by Charles Dick)

Latest news

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Must read

Sadr returns to Iran from Iraq: sources

AFP: Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to...

Sarkozy rejects Iran’s offer on detainees, calls it ‘blackmail’

AFP: President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday rejected as "blackmail"...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you