Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have signed an agreement that allows the supply of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan via Iran.
The trilateral gas transfer deal was signed on Sunday in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat in the presence of presidents of the three countries and on the sidelines of the ECO regional economic summit, according to a report by Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
The deal allows the transfer of 1.5-2 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan via Iran, said the report.
It added that Iran will take a portion of the gas imported from Turkmenistan as a transit fee to supply it to five of its northern provinces while transferring the rest to Azerbaijan.
It said that the deal will go into effect on December 22 and Turkmenistan will supply 5-6 million cubic meters per day of gas to Iran for the purpose of delivery to Azerbaijan.
The report did not elaborate on where Iran will deliver the gas to Azerbaijan. However, the two countries have indicated in their previous talks that the gas could be supplied to Nakhchivan, an Azerbaijani exclave which is separated from the mainland by a slice of Armenia.
The deal comes after Iran agreed to pay its long-overdue debts to Turkmenistan for gas supplies it had received until 2017.
It also comes after Azerbaijan and Iran agreed to expand their economic and energy ties following a brief period of tensions that started in late summer over border and transportation issues.
Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev had said during a visit to Iran on November 21 that there would be some good news in the very near future about increased energy cooperation between Tehran and Baku.