“The initial plan has been prepared and the private sector will be in charge of the gas exports to Afghanistan,” Hassan Torbati told reporters at a ceremony to launch 181 gas supply projects in Fars province.
He noted that diplomatic negotiations are underway and the government has already provided the full infrastructure needed for transfer of gas to its eastern neighbor.
Afghanistan is increasingly relying on Iran for its energy needs as the landlocked country moves to expand economic activity through opening a new trade route that passes through Iran to the Indian Ocean.
However, Iranian energy supplies, including electricity, are mostly available to western parts of Afghanistan where the security of transfer infrastructure can be properly guaranteed.
Iran has increased both the output and exports of natural gas in recent years despite the U.S. sanctions that have specifically targeted the country’s energy sector. Nearly a 10th of Iran’s current output of more than 700 million cubic meters of gas is exported, mainly through pipelines to Turkey and Iraq.
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