As tensions between EU and Russia persist and show no sign of disappearing any time soon, the European Union slowly draws its attention to new sources of energy, namely gas. Russia, one of the key trade partners provides for roughly a third of EU´s imports. In the current strategic climate, this position becomes ever more problematic. Therefore the search for alternatives becomes ever more urgent and ambitious projects of the Southern corridor gets more and more attention. Experts agree that Iran is potentially an important source of gas for the EU- the country lies on the world´s second largest gas reserves. Also, draft projects for routes from Iran to Europe exist, either using partially the existing infrastructure or a totally new one. However, the political relations between Iran and more generally the West are problematic due to Iran´s alleged nuclear ambitions. The political dialogue moved forward after the election of Mr Hassan Rouhani as president of the Islamic Republic, however the progress is still too slow and sanctions are still in force against Iran. Therefore Iran is no short-term solution for the EU. However, EU is interested in Iranian gas and Iran is interested in exporting the commodity to the EU, insiders indicate. The nomination of a former high ranking energy ministry official as Iranian ambassador to Germany is a sign of the growing importance of energy agenda in the EU-Iran relations. Diplomats should facilitate the potential energy shift of huge importance in the medium- to long-term time frame.
19th June 2018
13th July 2018