The European community could look to Iran as a reliable partner as it struggles to add a layer of security to its energy sector, Iran's trade minister said.
Trade Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said Monday that "Iran should be considered a reliable partner for natural gas supplies to Europe."
Iran has the second largest deposits of natural gas in the world, though the sector is undeveloped because of a lack of foreign investments.
Iran once touted its reserves as a viable source of natural gas for the so-called Southern Corridor, a network of gas transit sectors meant to break Russia's grip on the energy sector. Sanctions imposed on Iran for its controversial nuclear program meant that option was left on the sidelines.
Iran uses more than half of the natural gas it produces.
Russian energy company Gazprom said the supply of natural gas sent to Europe through Ukraine is in jeopardy because of Kiev's mounting gas debt. Europe relies on Russia for about a quarter of its gas, but most of that is sent through a Soviet-era transit network in Ukraine.
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