21 November 2007 – The AFP news agency has reported that Turkey has signed an agreement with Iran for a number of joint power production projects despite American pressure against investment in the Islamic republic.
The agreement foresees the joint construction of three thermal power plants – two in Iran and one in Turkey – with a capacity of 2000 MW each, as well as several hydroelectric plants in Iran with a total capacity of 10 000 MW.
Under the deal, transmission lines between Iran and Turkey will be upgraded and expanded within a year.
Turkey’s energy minister Hilmi Guler played down USA concern over the flourishing energy cooperation between Turkey and Iran, saying more agreements would be concluded in the coming days.
“The signing [of agreements] will continue. Our efforts are continuing,” Guler told a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Parviz Fattah after the two signed the power production deal yesterday.
The United States has urged its allies, including Turkey, to cut business with Iran and is pushing for tougher UN sanctions against the Islamic republic over its alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Tehran argues that its nuclear energy programme is totally peaceful.