Iran’s energy minister will pay a visit to Turkey next month to finalize a preliminary natural gas deal, the Turkish energy minister said yesterday. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said he will meet his Iranian counterpart after Ramadan, which ends on Oct. 11, to sign the deal.
Turkey signed a preliminary agreement with Iran on July 24 regarding construction of two natural gas pipelines through Turkish territory, one from Iran, the other from Turkmenistan. Iran is Turkey’s second-largest supplier of natural gas after Russia.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey responded to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks on Thursday that Turkey would not stop cooperating with neighboring Iran in the field of energy. Casey said such a position reduces the effectiveness of the US diplomatic effort to persuade Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities.
“One of the things we’re looking to is our partners around the world, including Turkey, to help convince Iran to comply with the various UN Security Council requirements, including the most important one,” suspension of enrichment, Casey said.
“For that diplomacy to be effective, we certainly think it would be helpful to have the support of all countries in that effort, and Turkey’s no exception to that,” Casey said. “And certainly, as you’ve heard us say many times before, we do not think that now is the time for people to be contemplating new investments in Iran’s petroleum or energy sector.”