TEHRAN (Reuters)–Armenia is interested in buying gas from Iran–the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported Sunday.
"The visiting Armenian senior minister–Sergei Manasaryan–Sunday called for purchase of Iran’s natural gas and its transport via a pipeline to his country," IRNA reported.
Manasaryan–Armenia’s deputy foreign minister–made the remark during a meeting in Tehran with Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh–IRNA said.
Iran already supplies Armenia with electricity–reducing Yerevan’s energy dependency on a local nuclear power plant and a natural gas pipeline through Georgia.
Tehran gas officials this year announced plans to export one billion cubic feet (28 million cubic meters) a day of gas to Armenia from the year 2000. Projects to export gas to Pakistan–Turkey and eventually Europe are also being planned by the Islamic republic.
Iran–a major oil exporter–has the world’s second largest reserves of gas after Russia.
The President of Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Khatami met with Armenia’s governmental Chief of Staff Shahen Karamanoukian–who is currently on a working visit in Tehran.
During the meeting the two discussed issues pertaining to the present state of the Armenian-Iranian relations and prospects for their development–as well as exchanged views on the regional problems. Both noted the necessity of restoration of peace and stability in the region which would serve as a stimulus for economic integration and further cooperation.
The same day Karamanoukian was received by the Minister of Oil Bijan Zanganehi and Economy and Finance Minister Hosein Namazi.
Karamanoukian is in Tehran accompanied by a delegation of Armenian governmental officials.
It is expected that several agreemen’s will be negotiated–and Iranian-Armenian relations will be the mainstay of the delegation’s agenda.