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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran to Sign Turkmen Gas Pipeline Deal

TEHRAN -- The presidents of Iran and Turkmenistan were set to sign an agreement late Tuesday for building a multi-billion-dollar pipeline to carry Turkmen gas via Iran and Turkey to Europe, Iran's Oil Minister Gholamreza Aqazadeh said.

Speaking to reporters after presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran and Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan met to put the final touches on the deal, Aqazadeh said they would sign the agreement before a dinner banquet.

"Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Niyazov will break the ground at a site along the pipeline route south of Tehran tomorrow, starting the work on this great project," he said.

Aqazadeh said the entire pipeline was estimated to cost $7 billion and would take six to eight years to build.

"The Iranian section will cost $3.5 billion, half of which is to be financed by Iran," he said.

It will have an initial annual capacity of 15 billion cubic meters, he said.