The speaker of parliament of the disputed Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic—a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan—has met with Iran’s economy minister to voice readiness for the securing of more Iranian gas and electricity imports, Mehr News Agency reported on December 19.
Vasif Talibov reportedly told Masoud Karbasian that Nakhchivan—largely surrounded by Armenia on both sides and a territory disputed by Yerevan—had consumed 80mn kilowatt hours of energy from Iran and would require additional deliveries.
Apart from routes through Armenia, Nakhchivan, home to 440,000 people, can access the outside world along the Aras river leading to Iran and via an 8-km border with Turkey. The river link is essential to the exclave when it comes to imports.
Nakhchivan generates a hydroelectricity surplus using a hydroelectric dam set on the Araz reservoir located on the Aras river. Talibov reportedly informed Karbasian that the Nakhchivanis very much want talks with Iran to discuss exporting the surplus to the Islamic Republic.
Karbasian said Iranian exporters could certainly benefit from further bilateral trade potential with Nakhchivan and he pointed out that there is more scope for two-way cross-border tourism.
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