TEHRAN (FNA)- National Iranian Gas Export Company Managing Director, Nasrollah Seifi said Iran would begin the first gas supplies to Switzerland in 2009. Â
According to the deal signed by Tehran and Bern, Iran is to export gas to the state for 25 years.
Gas pumping to Switzerland will first begin at lower levels and necessary costs for transiting gas to be delivered thorough Turkey’s pipeline will be paid by Bern.
The gas will be pumped to one of EGL’s power stations in Italy.
Switzerland is a country with few energy resources of its own and has also said Europe needs to diversify its energy imports away from Russia towards other exporters like Iran.
The deal comes despite US pressure on European countries to cut their business ties with Tehran as a means to pressure it to stop its nuclear activities.
The US is at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.
Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.
Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, specially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports.