Both Turkey and Iran see themselves as critical energy hubs — Iran exporting oil and gas to the eastern markets of Pakistan, India and China, and Turkey sending Middle Eastern and Central Asian gas to Europe. Iran has an important advantage: as a producer and potential large-volume exporter, it is less vulnerable to political pressures from large-volume importers; Turkey has to balance the political pressures of buyers. Nonetheless, Iran’s eastern export options fall short in terms of infrastructure financing options, long-term pipeline security and pricing transparency. Thus Tehran has been looking with more favor towards European options.6 This means that Turkey will grow increasingly relevant in the post-sanctions period in planning for the export of Iran’s gas. However, there are significant political and strategic disagreements between Ankara and Tehran that need to be smoothed out before any agreement can be reached on exporting and transporting gas from Iran’s South Pars field.
Middle East Policy. Summer 2016, Volume XXIII, Number 2