Iran Resumes Gas Supplies to Turkey

A0068136.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Iran began pumping natural gas to Turkey on Sunday after cutting supplies for three weeks.

The gas began flowing at around 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) at a rate of between 1.5 and 2.0 million cubic meters a day.

Turkish energy officials said they expected the amount to gradually increase in the coming days, the NTV news channel said.

Iran turned off the pipeline between the two neighbors on January 7, citing cold weather and a consumption crunch.

In addition to the cold snap in Iran that peaked domestic consumption, Turkmenistan also stopped sending gas to the Islamic republic.

Turkey in turn was forced to stop its gas exports to western neighbor Greece and increase its imports from Russia.

Turkish officials have said Ankara and Tehran are considering a long-term plan to build a second pipeline to bypass Iranian cities, which are also supplied by the existing conduit between the two countries.

Turkey has been buying gas from Iran via a pipeline from the northwestern city of Tabriz to Ankara since December 2001 under a deal that raised eyebrows in the United States.

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