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Iran Reduces Gas Exports to Turkey After Turkmenistan Cut


Iranian and Western news reports say Iran has cut its flow of natural gas to Turkey, after a halt in supplies from Turkmenistan left some northern Iranian towns without gas in freezing weather.

Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry says the export cut to Iran is temporary, while maintenance is carried out on the pipeline. Some Iranian media have reported that the Turkmen cut-off is linked to a pricing dispute. For their part, Turkish officials have not commented.

Reuters news agency says Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has strongly urged his Turkmen counterpart to resolve the technical problems. He also is quoted as saying Turkmen exports likely will resume by the end of this week.

The National Iranian Gas Company said Turkmenistan had reduced its exports to Iran by half on Saturday, and that exports had ceased by Monday.

Iranian media say schools have been closed in the northern provinces of Ardabil and Kordestan, near the Turkish border. The Iranian news agency says that some bakeries in the remote region have been closed, making it difficult for people to find bread.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.