Wednesday Oct 31, 201201:51 AM GMT
Iran, Balkans probe into energy cooperation
Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:52AM
Ivaylo Spasov, Press TV, Sofia
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Europe is struggling to secure its energy supplies.

Divided between Russia and the Caspian region -- Bulgaria is beginning to look to Iran as an alternative source.

As winter approaches, Bulgaria shivers over the memory of 2009, when it was cut off Russian gas supplies. Ever since, EU has been struggling to ensure alternative energy resources.

Nabucco pipeline was supposed to bring such diversification. Instead, its rival -South Stream is to be sealed first - as Sofia expects Russian President Putin in a few weeks. But experts doubt the project’s feasibility.

But its alternative is also practically “dead”, Dr. Biniaz explains. This, as the Hungarian gas company mulls withdrawing from Nabucco and its chief has suggested its “scaling-down”.

So, this expert at Iran foreign ministry’s Institute for political and international studies, has proposed an alternative solution. It would combine Iran’s huge energy resources with Europe’s climate change agenda into making Nabucco a consortium.

He revealed those ideas before diplomats, politicians, experts at Bulgaria’s foreign ministry, and told Press TV they were met with interest. The obstacle for their realization, however, is unilateral sanctions.

Thus, Iran’s geo-strategic location cannot be neglected, he stressed - and extended an invitation for the Balkan nations to enhance cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

This year, Bulgaria and Iran mark 115 years of undisrupted diplomatic ties. Experts believe this is a valuable asset that should open the door for a variety of new political, economic, social or cultural cooperations.
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