Mar 31, 2020 13:33 UTC
  • Blast near joint border halts Iran’s gas exports to Turkey

Iran’s natural gas exports to Turkey have stopped following an explosion on a pipeline near their joint border, an official at the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said on Tuesday.

Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana told IRNA on Tuesday “The explosion occurred near the Iranian border, causing gas to be halted from 6:50 a.m. local time (03:20 GMT) this morning.”

The cause of the explosion is not known yet, but Kurdish militants who are at war with the Turkish state in the southeast have blown up the pipeline in the past.  

The Turkish side, the Iranian official said, has been informed of the explosion but it has not responded to the incident yet. “We are waiting for their response,” he said.

According to Jamshidi-Dana, Turkey’s representative at Bazargan Gas Transmission Station has left his post due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The official said that "all necessary efforts" were underway to manage the situation, but that currently it was unclear when the line would re-open.

"Experience has shown that repairing the lines takes three to seven days, depending on the amount of damage done," he said.

Turkey's state news agency Anadolu said the explosion occurred near the Gurbulak border gate with Iran in Agri Province.

Turkish broadcaster TRT Haber also said the cause of the explosion was unknown.