Tehran, Ankara to talk energy ties

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to visit Turkey in May or early June, aiming to reach an agreement in their current talks on energy-related issues.
Turkish and Iranian officials have continued discussions on the issue since the last visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran. The two sides would like to finalize it through a high level cooperation council meeting, diplomatic sources told Hurriyet Daily News on Thursday.
However, negotiations on scheduling the visit are underway through diplomatic channels and the exact date is still undecided, the daily reported.
On January 31, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said his country may double natural gas imports from Iran if the two countries agree on a price.
In March 2012, Turkey laid a formal complaint against Iran with the International Court of Arbitration in regards to the price of gas.
Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has said Turkey’s complaint with an arbitration court about the price of natural gas imported from Iran “will create no problem for Iran,” adding that the court will “most likely” rule in favor of the Islamic Republic.
Iran reportedly charges Turkey $490 for every 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas it exports that to its western neighbor. This is while Turkey claims that the Republic of Azerbaijan and Russia supply gas to Turkey at $335 and $425 per 1,000 cubic meters respectively.
Iran and Turkey have signed a preferential trade agreement which could pave the way for a hike in the bilateral trade. The agreement was signed during Erdogan’s visit to Iran in January. At the time, Erdogan said the goal is to boost trade between the two neighbors to $30 billion by 2015.
In December 2013, the Ankara ambassador to Tehran said Iran and Turkey have set a long-term target of $100 billion for annual trade transactions.

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