Iran-Armenian gas pipeline construction completed
By Messenger staff
Wednesday, December 3Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian, ex-President Robert Kocharyan and Russian Gazprom head Aleksei Miller have attended the symbolic welding of the last tubes and pipes onto the Armenian segment of the Iran-Armenia natural gas pipeline.
The head of the ArmrosGazprom board Karen Karapetian stated that the project had been made possible through the commitment of the three sides, Armenia, Russia and Iran, to overcome the many technical difficulties. Miller stated that this pipeline will secure energy supply to Armenia. Iran national gas company Director Rasul Salmani said that initially its input would be very modest but in 2009 Iran will supply 2.9 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually. In return Iran will receive from Armenia 3.3 billion kilowatts of energy.
The Iran-Armenia pipeline is around 100 kilometres long, and runs from Tabriz to the Armenian border town of Megri. So far Armenia has received natural gas from Russia via Georgia. Therefore Russia now has one more lever to put pressure on Georgia, as any time it can cut the natural gas supply to Armenia, which will satisfy its needs from Iranian sources. Georgia, which received gas as compensation for its transit service, could therefore fall deeper into crisis.