Iran will not give Turkey a discount for natural gas purchases, National Iranian Gas Company Managing Director Hamidreza Araqi said in Tehran on Monday.
Commenting on Turkey’s complaint to the International Court of Arbitration  about the price of the gas Iran supplies to Turkey, Araqi said Iran will not accept any request from Turkey to lower the price. However, Iran will accept the verdict of the international court, he added. Ankara appealed to the International Court of Arbitration over the price of Iranian gas in March 2012. If the court rules in favor of Turkey, Iran will be obliged to provide Turkey a 30 percent discount on gas purchases. On February 16, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that Iran is studying Turkey’s request to double its natural gas imports from the Islamic Republic, Press TV reported. Zanganeh stated that Turkey has expressed interest in increasing its gas purchases from Iran to 20 billion cubic meters a year.  However, the oil minister said Iran has not yet made a decision  on Turkey's request for a reduction in the price of gas . Iran is currently charging Turkey $490 for every 1,000 cubic meters of gas. In 1996, the two countries signed an agreement, according to which Iran would supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Turkey. Under the agreement, Iran should export about 27.3 million cubic meters of gas per day to its northwestern neighbor. In October 2013, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said that Turkey is importing 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Iran but would buy more if it were available. Turkey will also import at least 5 million tons (100,000 barrels per day) of Iranian crude in 2014, the same amount that it purchased last year, since any more cuts in the volume from Iran would “threaten” the country’s economy, Hurriyet Daily News quoted Yildiz as saying. “Now we are importing about 5 million tons, and if we [reduce] that, then that would threaten our energy supply security,” he added.