Last updated: 30 July, 2011

Iran resumes gas exports to Turkey after blast

The flow of Iranian gas is to resume to neighbouring Turkey on Saturday a day after a pipeline explosion, a spokesman for the national gas company was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying.

“This pipeline is going through the final stages of repair and the flow of gas will resume on Saturday at noon,” the National Iranian Gas Co’s (NIGC) Majid Boujarzadeh said.

“Officially so far we do not have the reason for the blast,” he added.

According to Iranian media, the explosion occurred near the Bazargan border crossing, close to the city of Maku in Iran’s West Azarbaijan province.

However, on Friday the Maku Governor Hamid Ahmadian told the ISNA news agency: “The bombing which left no casualties… occurred at the hands of Zionist and American mercenaries.”

It was not the first time Iran’s gas exports to Turkey have been disrupted. In the summer of 2010, the pipeline was damaged twice in blasts blamed on separatist Kurdish rebels.

In the past two weeks Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards corps has been battling Kurdish rebels in the area of northeastern Iraq and northwestern Iran, resulting in casualties on both sides.

Tehran maintains that Kurdish rebels in the area are funded and trained by its arch-foes, the United States and Israel.

Iran, which has the second-largest proven gas reserves in the world after Russia, exports about 30 million cubic metres of gas to Turkey daily, according to deputy oil minister and NIGC chairman Javad Ouji.