Nicosia, Sept 13 : Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari on Friday has given a stern warning to Austrian energy firm OMV that unless it signs a deal on the Nabucco gas pipeline soon, Tehran will look for other partners.
The aim of the Nabucco pipeline is to transport at least 30 billion meters of natural gas per year from the Caspian Sea to Europe, bypassing Russia. OMV, the giant energy firm of Austria, is one of the six Nabucco partners.
In an interview with Austrian Wiener Zeitung, Nozari said: "The Austrians must hurry up and turn the preliminary contracts into actual contracts, because time is running out and we won't wait forever".
The Oil Minister pointed out that Iran in the course of the current year signed a record number of contracts e.g. with India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Venezuela.
Last year, Iran signed a major agreement with OMV to help develop the country's vast gas resources - which are believed to be 16 per cent of world reserves- and build a plant for liquefied natural gas.
Immediately, the United States reacted and expressed misgivings in view of the West's standoff with Tehran over its nuclear programme.