As the struggle between Russia and the West in Ukraine deepens, Europe is beginning to reconsider its options vis-à-vis weakening Russia’s energy monopoly in the European market. Throughout the political negotiations with Moscow, the energy dependency has remained starkly obvious as Europe’s ‘Achilles heel’. In the context of changing international environment, Iran’s role in delivering gas to European markets introduces an interesting new dynamic, representing a potential alternative in the diversification of European energy sector. According to old estimates, Iran has the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia. BP’s recent statistics, however, indicates that Iran has risen to the first place with its 33.6 trillion cubic meters of blue fuel. International sanctions have targeted Iran’s energy sector since 2010, limiting its technical and financial capacity to deliver gas to international markets, largely by hindering the development of its energy sector’s infrastructure. Now, following the sanctions relief resulting from the November 2013 interim agreement to curb its nuclear activity, Iran is seeking to bring more foreign companies into its energy sector. If the international sanctions against Iran are removed entirely, Iranian gas could be delivered to European markets; this would increase the significance of the Turkish route. This analysis will look at the possibility of exporting Iranian gas to Europe via Turkey.
Download: CCEE_Policy_Brief_2014_05_16 (2),