Iran plans to propose exporting natural gas to Switzerland
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.26
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran has prepared a package of proposals which may hand over to a visiting Swiss economic delegation, aiming to export natural gas to the European country.
An informed source told Iran's Fars news agency on April 26 that the ground is prepared for the two sides to sign a contract. A Swiss delegation, which had visited to Iran last year, welcomed the purchase of Iranian gas, the source said.
A high-ranking economic delegation from Switzerland arrived in Iran on April 26.
The travel of Swiss delegation to Iran is aimed at surveying the ways for reinforcement of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
The delegation is headed by former Swiss Ambassador to Iran Livia Leu.
In 2007, Iran and Switzerland signed a major 25-year gas contract to export over 5 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas per year to Switzerland reportedly valued at 18 billion euros.
The deal provoked outrage in some quarters, in particular in the US and Israel and was suspended due to sanctions against the Iranian oil sector.
Iran has repeatedly announced that its gas is planned to be transited through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to Switzerland. However, TAP has stated that the pipeline does not intend to transport any gas from Iran.
The second potential route for transit of Iranian gas through Turkey to EU is via the Nabucco West Pipeline which already excluded the Iranian name from gas suppliers' list.
The little known project of Iran-Turkey-Europe Natural Gas Pipeline Project (ITE) is another option for transporting Iranian gas to the EU. According to the ITE official website, for a transit passage of natural gas sourced in Iran to take place through Turkey, the two countries had already signed an agreement protocol on November 17, 2008.