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Iran voices ecological concerns over Trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline

By M. Alkhazashvili

(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Monday, December 17
Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nasir Hamidi Zare said Tehran opposes plans to build a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline due to ecological concerns, the news agency Regnum reports.

“In case of a [Trans-Caspian] pipeline disaster our countries would suffer severe ecological damage, thus we believe the best route for delivering Caspian natural gas to Europe is through Iran and Turkey,” Regnum quoted the ambassador as saying.

The Trans–Caspian pipeline project—which envisages a submarine pipeline between Turkmenbashi and Baku—was initially conceived in 1996 to supply Europe with Kazakhstani and Turkmen gas.

The project has been strongly opposed by both Russia and Iran, and has been hindered by the ongoing legal dispute of Caspian Sea boundaries.