Iran cuts power to Azerbaijan over non-payment
Iran cut off electricity to the autonomous Azerbaijani republic of Nakhichevan because it still owes Tehran $45 million, state television reported Monday.
It said the power supply would not be reestablished until Azerbaijan paid its debt. Some 60 percent of Nakhichevan's electricity supply comes from Iran, which had agreed to provide 880 megawatts each day.
Tehran has repeatedly said it had no obligations to uphold the agreement if Azerbaijan did not respect its financial commitments.
The two neighbours share Islamic and cultural affinities, but relations have been strained in recent years, particularly over the sharing of the resource-rich Caspian Sea.
Iran has also singled out Baku for its friendly relations with the United States and Israel.
Azerbaijan has secured a number of major energy contracts with US and other foreign firms since the breakup of the former Soviet Union.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)