Iran’s energy minister says Tehran and Damascus are working on a framework for long-term cooperation in the electricity sector, including a plan to export Iran’s power to the Arab country through Iraq.
Ardakanian made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of an agreement between Tehran and Damascus, which was also attended by Syrian Electricity Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutly.
He underlined independent states should seek to reach self-sufficiency in vital areas, including the electricity sector.
“Iran’s electricity industry is not only planning to construct power stations in, or export electricity to Syria. Many a European producer may enjoy a better technology in this field, but they always view countries in need as customers,” said Ardakanian.
“But we are planning to have jointly-run companies in order to train manpower and have repair groups to rebuild damaged parts, so that our neighbours will, after some time, get to a point which Iran reached several years ago, and Iran reached self-sufficiency in that field,” he added.
He said the less the presence of foreign firms, the more likely it will be for regional peace and security to improve.
“The starting point for this chapter of mutual cooperation is to set up a joint working group between the Iranian and Syrian energy ministries in order to draw up a plan for the next two to three years to implement required projects in this sector and put specified projects on the agenda,” he said.
“After this phase, the necessary planning will be done for a three-way electricity network between Iran, Iraq and Syria, so that we will utilize the existing facilities to get to a point where no citizen is deprived of electricity,” said the minister.
He said Iran is trying to help Syria’s electricity industry reach self-sufficiency to a considerable extent.
The Syrian official, in turn, said on the sidelines of his meeting with Ardakanian that Tehran and Damascus seek to sign new cooperation agreements in the near future.
He said Iran has played a pivotal role in stabilizing and protecting Syria’s National Grid.