Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iran: Key to the Future of Nabucco

As former Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar observes, Russia has acquired strategic control of gas exports from Central Asia: "Russia Takes Control of Turkmen (World?) Gas" (Asia Times, 30 July 2008). At the same time, Gazprom is making greater inroads into North Africa, another key energy supplier to Europe: Isabel Gorst, "Gazprom Set for Move into N Africa" (Financial Times, 3 April 2008); and Oleg Shchedrov, Libya, Russia Draft Stronger Energy Ties (31 July 2008). These two facts raise the value of Iranian gas for Europe if it wants to diversify its energy supplies. Who else is left to supply the Nabucco pipeline? Turkey's AKP, having survived an attempt at a judicial coup that sought to close the party and ban its top officials, is now better positioned to mediate between Iran and Europe (and the rest of the West and Israel).

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