Iran, together with Turkmenistan, possesses almost 28% of the world’s total proven natural gas reserves. When the imminent lifting of Western sanctions takes place, Iran, holder of the world’s largest natural gas proven reserves, will do everything to re-establish its export of hydrocarbons (oil&gas) to Europe, in order to spur the nation’s sanctions-battered economy’s recovery, although this contrasts with Iran’s recent statement that they will not sell gas to Europe, to soothe the Russians, who are now needed for their political and economic plans.
Nevertheless, it is very possible that the EU will not need, or simply, will not be able to purchase both Iranian and Turkmen natural gas together, beyond 2020. The Union adopts a neutral stance between the two countries and their race to supply Europe with gas. The Commission will consider all economically and politically viable projects in the near future, to strengthen its energy security and secure diversification of natural gas supply routes. In this situation, also bearing in mind that even if Iran or Turkmenistan do eventually sell gas to Europe, in the short to medium term, the only possible way for it is only through the TANAP. Iran can, therefore, become a major competitor to neighbouring Turkmenistan, holder of the world’s 4th largest proven reserves.