TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An Iranian deputy minister said the dispute between Iran and Turkmenistan over natural gas trade has gone to arbitration, noting that both sides have filed lawsuits against each other.
In an interview with Press Shia, deputy oil minister and managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi said Tehran and Ashgabat have brought lawsuits against each other, saying the international arbitration court is hearing the two cases.
Iran has filed a complaint about Turkmenistan’s move to halt gas exports in wintertime, while the Turkmens have complained about financial issues, he added.
Turkmenistan cut off gas supplies to Iran in winter 2016, saying Iran should clear its outstanding debts.
Iran has imported natural gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in the north of the country, furthest from the gas resources in the south.
In August 2017, Iran started to construct a new gas pipeline stretching from the northern city of Damghan in Semnan Province to Neka in Mazandaran Province. Officials say the pipeline will cut Mazandaran Province’s dependence on imports from Turkmenistan.