Iran is moving aggressively to stake out a major role in the development of Caspian Basin oil and gas reserves.
At a September 19 forum in New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazzi courted US oil-sector executives and analysts, saying Iran was prepared to cooperate with Western firms in helping develop the Caspian Basin's energy infrastructure.
"We are prepared to join hands with our partners in the developed countries and the West to contribute and expedite the process of economic development in the [Caspian] region," Kharrazzi said at the forum, organized by the Eurasia Group.
Kharazzi added that "economic logic" mandates that Iran serve as the main transit hub that brings Caspian Basin natural resources to Western markets. "We ought to choose the best route, free from any kind of political pressure and fanfare and non-economic parameters," Kharrazzi said. "The Iranian route is the shortest route for the transfer of energy resources."
To read the full story
Justin Burke is editor of EurasiaNet.