The advantages of the project to Iran and Armenia:
While Iran, in terms of
gas recourses, is the second in the world but its rank in the gas export is
almost zero. Therefore, for Iran penetrating into the export gas market is
important and helps Iranian economy to diversify itself by reducing its
dependency on oil exportation. In order to enter international gas export
market, the regional market may see as first steps. Commercially and in terms
of its size the Iranian-Armenian gas pipeline, considering the Iranian gas
resource, is not up to the expectation. However it is a start, and the
relevant Iranian departments can earn the needed experiences and enhance their
knowledge about international gas export market.
The implementation of
this project will send a very positive sign to Iranian-Armenian minority, and
would be another indication of Iran realistic foreign policy. This project
also fits in Iran’s regional policy, which is based on economic cooperation.
Why the project has been delayed?
If the Iranian-Armenian
gas pipeline seems so good for both countries, why it has been delayed? To
grapple with the above questions, two issues may be looked upon.
The position of relevant regional and non-regional power.
The financial aspects of the project.
With regard to different powers, we may start with the easier one. Turkey and Azerbaijan will not favor such project and their overall position may be assessed as negative. Russia will not have much problem with the project in limited form, and given its present relations with Iran and Armenia it would not object, but certainly it is not one of their favorites. Judging by what has been said by the programme coordinator of the EU's representative office in Armenia, Sebastian Dubost, that the EU is planning to allocate 30m euros for the drawing up of the technical and legal documentation necessary for the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline, one may conclude that Europeans are supportive of the project. They wish to see progress on Iranian-Armenian “Gas for Power Project”, leading to decommissioning of the environmentally unsafe nuclear power plan, which is high on the EU regional agenda. The United States’ position would not be positive. They will see the project in conflict with their policy in Iran and their imposed sanctions. They may also not wish to irritate Turkey and Azerbaijan. In the other hand Americans would like to see the extension of the gas pipeline to Georgia. Such pipeline would reduce the vulnerability of Georgia and it would enhance the energy security of the country which is vital for the stability of Georgian Gov. The American position may also be softened due to the work of an effective Armenian lobby in the U.S. The project technically is in magnitude, which can be done by Iranian Co., and its Iranian portion can be financed locally or through some regional banks. Therefore in this way, the project could maneuver around the sanction’s difficulty. Consequently, even the position of Americans is negative, but there is a good chance to find sympathetic audiences on this project in Washington.
Thus it is true that the project is not facing a
hospitable regional and international environment, but it also not confronting
Back to article list