ANKARA: Iran may export gas to Switzerland via Turkey in exchange for a transit fee to Ankara if it does so, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters on Monday.
Iran’s oil minister said on Saturday his country was ready to make such exports providing transit country Turkey gave its consent and Switzerland signs the contract directly with Iran.
Yildiz said an agreement signed between Turkey and Iran allows Iran to make such exports to Switzerland or any other European country.
"There is no problem with exports through Turkey. We have given permission for this. Turkey takes a fee for the transit through here," he said.
The United States and its European allies are pushing for a fourth round of UN sanctions to pressure Iran to curb a nuclear programme the West fears is aimed at building a bomb. Iran says it needs nuclear technology to generate power.
Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi said on Saturday: "We are ready and we have good capacity to export gas to Switzerland even today, if they get permission from Turkey, and there are some signs they will get that."
"Our condition is that they should sign the contract directly with Iran," he said.
Iran has the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia, but US and UN sanctions have hindered access to foreign investment and slowed its development as a major exporter. It is Turkey’s second-biggest supplier after Russia.