Turkey and Iran Fail to Reach Energy Agreement Due to Pressure by US

Azerbaijan, Baku, 16 August / Trend corr. S.Ilhamgizi, Т.Jafarov / Turkey and Iran failed to reach agreement in the energy sphere during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the country due to the pressure put on Ankara by the United States.

"Turkey and Iran failed to sign an agreement on gas transport as a result of the pressure put on Ankara by the United States and Israel," Ahmad Jansiz, Iranian political scientist, told Trend .

According the information by the Iranian website Radio-farda, the preliminary agreement to implement the joint project to export Iranian natural gas to Europe was signed by the former Iranian Petroleum Minister Kazim Vazari Khamane, and Turkish Energy Minister Hedmi Gular, in August 2006.

On 14 August, an agreement on cooperation in the sphere of drug smuggling, environment, national libraries and tourism excluding energy was signed during Ahmadinejad's visit to Turkey.

According to Jansiz, Ankara and Israel oppose Iranian gas transport to Turkey and Europe. "Both, Turkey and Israel do not want Iran to strengthen country's economy through gas sale. However, Iran strengthens relations with the countries in the region and will reach its purpose," Jansiz said via a telephone from Teheran.

According to Jansiz, the lay of the gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey and Europe will be implemented soon or later. Furthermore, the talks between the official Teheran and West regarding Iranian uranium enrichment program will succeed.

"Europeans need in Iranian gas. The transport of Iranian gas via Turkey to Europe is beneficial for European countries from the economic point of view," Jansiz said.

Turkish expert Sinan Ogan believes that there was small possibility that the agreement on gas transport would have been reached during Ahmdinejad's visit to Turkey. "Most countries pay a special attention to Ahmadinejad's visit to Turkey. The possible agreement to lay a gas pipeline may have cause a negative reaction. Therefore, no agreement in this sphere has been reached," Ogan, Head of the International Relations and Strategic Research Turksam Centre, told Trend .

Ogan believes that the United States interfered into the issue. Washington put pressure on Turkey to prevent signing of the gas agreement. "Factually, the United States did not want Ahmadinejad's visit to Turkey to take place. However, Turkey, being an independent country, holds its independent policy in the region" Ogan said.

" Turkey can play a mediator role between Iran and West, which was aimed by invitation of Ahmadinejad to the country," the Turkish expert said.

The United States accuses Iran of nuclear weapon production, but the official Teheran says that it will use the nuclear program for peace purpose only.

The correspondent can be contacted at: trend@trend.az

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