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Iran ready to help restore energy security to Europe: Deputy FM

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Baqeri Kani

The Iranian deputy foreign minister highlights the dangers facing energy security in Europe amid the Russian war in Ukraine, saying Tehran, along with other energy providers, is ready to share its actual and potential capacities to help restore security to the energy market.

Ali Bagheri Kani made the remarks in a meeting with a group of business people and managers of Hungarian companies in Budapest on Wednesday.

He added that the continuation of war in Europe has endangered energy security in this part of the world.

"It was thought for many years that countries like Iran should pay the cost of being sanctioned [but] now the Europeans have realized that imposing sanctions has also a price," said Bagheri Kani, who is the chief negotiator in the talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

He warned that the Europeans will have to pay the price of imposing sanctions by increasing inflation and jeopardizing energy security if they fail to revise their unilateral policies.

Russia launched a military campaign in Ukraine on February 24, with a declared aim of “demilitarizing” the ex-Soviet country’s Donbas region.

Shortly after the onset of the conflict, the United States and its European allies unleashed waves of unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, which repeatedly warned that such punitive measures will certainly backfire.

Russia has almost cut its flow of natural gas to Europe, citing technical difficulties caused by the sanctions, leaving Europe to brace for a cold winter.

This is while the 27-member European Union relied on Russia, the world’s second largest natural gas producer, for 40 percent of their natural gas, which is the second most common energy source in Europe after petroleum oil.

In an open letter to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen late last month, the Confederation of European Business raised the alarm over the energy crisis and skyrocketing cost of gas and electricity across Europe, which may lead to the closure of thousands of EU firms.

The business lobby warned that “the current state of high gas and electricity prices bears the imminent risk of production losses and shutdowns of thousands of European companies.”

During the Wednesday meeting, the Hungarian businessmen and managers of companies also announced their plans to improve economic ties with Iran and said they are ready to have a more active participation in the country's large commercial and economic market.

They emphasized that Iran and Hungary enjoy proper capacities to boost cooperation in all fields, especially energy, agriculture, medicine and management of water resources.

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