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06 09 18 - Iran wants to build a second natural gas pipeline to energy-strapped neighbor Armenia
Iran eyes new Armenian pipeline, AFP- September 13, 2006<BR>
YEREVAN, Armenia -- Iran wants to build a second natural gas pipeline to energy-strapped neighbor Armenia, the Islamic republic's parliament speaker
Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel said Monday.

Speaking during a two-day visit to Armenia, Hadad-Adel said "the two sides are discussing the possibility of the construction of a second Iran-Armenia

Because of its dispute with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, Armenia has been unable to take advantage of Azerbaijan's energy reserves or
participate in regional hydrocarbon transport projects.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-year war ending with an uneasy ceasefire in 1994 over the majority ethnic-Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.

Hadad-Adel said that a new Iranian gas pipeline would serve primarily to supply Armenia with gas but added that "the possibility of transporting gas to third
countries through the territory of Armenia is not excluded."

"An important part of our relations is cooperation in the area of energy," Hadad-Adel said of ties with Yerevan.

Iran has already undertaken the $220-million construction of a natural gas pipeline to the Caucasus nation, which has until now depended on Russia for all
of its gas needs.

Under a 20-year contract, Armenia is projected to receive some 36 billion cubic meters of gas through the conduit starting in January of next year, breaking
Russia's stranglehold on its gas market.

Armenia will foot part of the bill for the initial pipeline with deliveries of electricity that it produces at a Soviet-era nuclear power plant.

Armenia and Iran also recently began construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Araxes River, which serves as the two nations' border.

Armenia has depends on Russia and Iran for most of its trade because of an economic blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and ethnically-linked Turkey over the
Karabakh dispute.


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