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Iran imports gas from Russia, despite having the second largest reserves in the world

 Only a month after the National Iranian Oil Company signed a memorandum of understanding worth $40 billion with Russia's Gazprom to develop 7 oil and gas fields and complete other oil projects near the Persian Gulf, Iranian media revealed Tehran's intention to import surplus quantities of Russian gas.

Last Wednesday, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji discussed the purchase of Russian gas with Igor Levitin, the Russian president's chief aide, stressing that "in the near future, the final contract for the purchase and exchange of gas with Russia between the National Iranian Gas Company and its Russian counterpart will be signed in Moscow."

Iran imports gas from Russia, despite having the second largest reserves in the world

Given that Iran has the second largest gas reserves after Russia in the world, the move sparked controversy over the economic feasibility and its repercussions on the embattled Iranian economy.

On Tehran’s justification for importing gas from Russia, Al polled the opinions of Iranian experts and analysts who were divided between those who see the decision to import surplus gas from the Russian ally aimed at circumventing Western sanctions against Moscow, 

and others who demand the need to develop infrastructure to re-export the imported gas to the neighborhood as well as to secure Part of the European need for energy.

Justifications for importing gas from Russia:

Energy researcher Sohrab Rostami Kia believes that the Russian war on Ukraine has created an energy crisis on the green continent, but it has opened up prospects for circumventing US sanctions and delivering Iranian energy to Europe.

Rostami Kia explained - in his speech to Al Jazeera Net - that Iran has gained valuable experience in circumventing Western sanctions over the past decades, adding that Tehran can sell surplus energy - including Russian gas - in light of the sanctions, adding that the confrontation between the West and Russia will push Western countries To the rush to import energy from Iran, as he put it.

The Iranian researcher stressed that increasing his country's gas exports will enhance its position among gas-exporting countries, stressing that, according to available statistics, the Russians have a surplus of 75 billion cubic meters of gas and that his country is able to import about 20 billion cubic meters of it without the need to employ capital. To create new tubes.

Rostami Kia concluded that Tehran's failure to take advantage of the opportunity available to it would push the Russians to search for new customers; Like Pakistan and Afghanistan, they will become a competitor to Iranian gas.

The cause of pessimism:

The economic researcher, Gholam Reza Moghadam, believes that his country has not gained much from its cooperation with the Russians during the past decades, and that Moscow's slowdown in completing the project to build the Bushehr nuclear facility is the best evidence of this, adding that Russian competition was a major obstacle to the Iranian gas sector and its lack of a strong presence in the markets. Globalism.

He explained to Al Jazeera Net, that Russia today is obliged to get rid of surplus gas because it is unable to process a large amount of it and liquefy it, and that it will be forced to burn it if it is unable to sell it.

Moghadam considered that Iranian reliance on buying Russian gas and reselling it to Turkey will deprive the country of the opportunity to be present in European markets, stressing that Turkey is working to sign a long-term contract to buy Iranian gas and sell it to Europeans.

The Iranian researcher concluded that the two sides - Iranian and Russian - had signed dozens of contracts and agreements over the past years, but they remained ink on paper, and none of them was announced.

Importing gas from Russia and circumventing Western sanctions:

Political affairs researcher Saeed Shawardi believes that Iranian-Russian cooperation is likely to get around Western sanctions during the coming period. They supported it more than once in the UN Security Council.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Shawardi said that his country considers Russia a strategic partner at various levels - political, economic and military - stressing that Tehran will not abandon its Russian ally, just as Moscow did not abandon it when it was subjected to the harshest Western pressures.

The Iranian researcher expected to strengthen commercial cooperation between his country and Russia in light of the latter's determination to continue the war on Ukraine, stressing that the two sides may apply the experience of their oil cooperation to the surplus of Russian gas; As Tehran had previously received shipments of Russian oil in its northern ports, it in turn delivered Iranian oil to Russia's customers in the Persian Gulf.



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