Iran provisionally resumes power flow to Azerbaijan despite non-payment
Iran has provisionally resumed supplying the autonomous Azerbaijani republic of Nakhichevan with electricity in order to allow the inhabitants to take part in legislative elections, state television reported Sunday.
It cited Iran's energy ministry as saying that the electricity flow was restored on Saturday following a request by Iran's foreign ministry.
"We have reestablished the electricity since Saturday noon in order to allow the citizens of this republic to vote," the ministry said, adding that the flow would be cut again at the end of the elections.
On October 29, Iran cut the electricity supply to the republic because it still owes Tehran 45 million dollars, state television reported, adding that 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 neighbors 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)