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Iran eyes Iraq for gas export market

Dec. 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM

TEHRAN, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Iraq could utilize Iranian natural gas for an electricity sector damaged in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Iranian oil minister said.

Iraqis still suffer from intermittent blackouts and rely on generators for the production of electricity. Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mir Kazemi suggested Baghdad could benefit from Iranian gas in its efforts to increase its capacity to produce electricity, Iran's Fars News Agency reports.

He lamented the fact that many of the electricity installations in Iraq were damaged or destroyed during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, putting the country years behind in terms of energy production.

His comments came during a meeting in Tehran with Iraqi Minister of Electricity Karim Wahid. Wahid expressed similar sentiments on a possible bilateral energy relationship with Iran, the report said.

Kazemi, meanwhile, said his country could export fuels to Iraq for use in the private sector at some point in the future.

Iran is keen to expand its consumer base for energy resources as the country grapples with Western-backed economic sanctions imposed for its controversial nuclear program.

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