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EU officials to visit Iran to explore energy ties

17 January 2016 15:50


European officials are set to visit Iran to explore ways of expanding energy ties with Tehran following the removal of sanctions against the nation over the Iranian nuclear program.

The European Commission will undertake a first “technical assessment mission” in February to explore energy ties, European Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said on Sunday.

“A first technical assessment mission in the field of energy to the country (Iran) will take place at the beginning of February,” Arias Canete said in a statement.

Also, an EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said around 15 EU officials would go on the initial four-day technical visit and after that, high-level Commission staff, possibly with a business delegation, would travel to Iran.

Arias Canete said potential areas for cooperation included all areas of energy — nuclear, oil, gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In particular, he mentioned developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and also pipeline shipments through a route the European Union refers to as the “Southern Gas Corridor” to carry supplies into southern Europe.

The news follows the Saturday move by the European Union, the United Nations and the United States to lift sanctions on Iran, opening the door to closer EU-Iran energy cooperation.

Tehran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany- reached a historic agreement last July that envisaged the removal of all anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program.

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