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  Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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The U.S. ambassador to Georgia said Monday his country is against long-term strategic cooperation between Georgia and Iran in natural gas deliveries
The U.S. ambassador to Georgia, John Tefft, said Monday his country is against long-term strategic cooperation between Georgia and Iran in natural gas deliveries. In an interview with a Tbilisi newspaper, the diplomat said the statement of Matthew Bryza, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, saying that the White House will not oppose Tbilisi's use of Iran's gas to overcome an energy crisis, had been wrongly interpreted. A temporary agreement on Iranian gas deliveries to Georgia was concluded after explosions in January 2006 on trunk pipelines in Georgia, which caused a suspension in gas supplies from Russia. Tefft said the United States' position can be explained on the one hand by the latest UN resolutions on Iran, and by the country's nuclear program. Iran has been at the center of an international dispute this year over its nuclear ambitions. Some countries suspect the Islamic Republic of pursuing a covert weapons program, but Tehran has consistently denied the claims, and says it needs nuclear power for electricity. European powers have drafted a resolution on sanctions against Iran which the U.S. wants toughened, but Russia and China, key economic partners of Tehran, want softened. Georgian energy security was dealt a further blow earlier in November when Russia threatened to cut off gas supplies its South Caucasus neighbor if it fails to agree to a substantial price rise for 2007. The two countries have been locked in a diplomatic crisis since September. John Tefft said the U.S. believes a pipeline transporting gas from Georgia's neighbor Azerbaijan is a strategic asset for Tbilisi, which will give it an additional reliable energy source.
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