0801 GMT October 06, 2022
Iran can meet a major part of Europe’s energy needs, but the country will not use its rich oil and gas resources as “leverage against other states”.
This is Iran’s explicit stance toward the energy crisis Europeans are grappling with, particularly, in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine.
Over the past weeks, many Iranian and foreign experts and media have repeatedly reminded that European states’ oil and gas needs have given Iran the upper hand in the talks on the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal, as they cherish the hope that following the restoration of the agreement, the Islamic Republic would be able to fill in the gap that has opened up in the global energy market due to the halt of Russia’s oil and gas exports to some countries.
Reminding the fact that “the cold winter is imminent” by some Iranian officials and media over the past days had raised doubts whether Tehran would seek to use its relative advantage in the energy sector to obtain more concessions in the nuclear talks. On Monday, however, Mohammad Marandi, an analyst close to the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, stressed that Iran will not use its energy sector capacities as a “weapon” or “leverage”.
He tweeted, “The West uses cruel sanctions as a weapon, while Iran seeks normal ties with all legitimate and non-hostile governments. Iran has never used oil or gas as a leverage. By needlessly stonewalling over a few ambiguous (but very important) words, the U.S. is elevating global energy prices.”
In remarks about Europeans’ demands for Iran’s energy following the achievement of a potential nuclear agreement at a weekly presser on the same day, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said owing to its rich oil and gas resources, Iran is naturally among the world’s most important energy and fuel suppliers.
He said by relying on its domestic capabilities and capacities, Iran has managed to maintain its presence in the global energy market even under the most draconian sanctions.
Kanaani noted that European states are facing some problems for meeting their energy needs, adding provided that the nuclear negotiations bear fruit and Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran are lifted, Iran can meet a major part of Europe’s demands.
Speaking to Croatian paper Večernji list in late June, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “European states have put forward demands viva voce for and are assessing the possibility of cooperation with Iran in the energy sector. Our approach toward economic cooperation will not be one featuring opposition to any country. We welcome enhancement of collaborations with Europe and other parts of the world in the field of energy.”