( RIA Novosti ) - Iran has suspended supplies of natural gas to Turkey due to a cold weather front which brought a sharp fall in temperatures, rain and snow in the region, Turkish television reported on Monday.
Under a contract signed in 1996, Iran must ensure daily supplies of 28 million cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey via a 2,500-km pipeline connecting the two countries.
"Despite its pledge to ensure uninterrupted supply of natural gas during the winter, Iran failed to meet its obligations in the past ten days and fully stopped energy supplies on Monday," the NTV television quoted Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Hilmi Guler as saying.
Iran has in the past halted natural gas deliveries to Turkey several times during the winter citing increased domestic demand for the fuel.
Turkey has never built domestic fuel storage facilities and always compensated for the shortage of exports from Iran with additional supplies from Russia and other countries.
NTV television said the Turkish energy minister would ask Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to negotiate the issue of natural gas supplies with Russian and Iranian presidents.
"I have discussed the current situation [with gas supplies] with my Iranian counterpart, but now I will have to ask the head of the [Turkish] Cabinet to conduct direct negotiations with presidents of Russia and Iran," NTV quoted Hilmi Guler.