Iran says hopes for sanction relief to export gas to Europe

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Iran said Monday it hopes to see US sanctions eased or lifted to allow it to sell natural gas to Europe, easing the continent's shortfall as Russian energy exports are restricted.

“Given Europe's energy supply problems triggered by the Ukraine crisis, Iran could provide Europe's energy needs if sanctions against it are lifted,” said foreign ministry's spokesman Nasser Kanani.

Iran is engaged in talks with world powers to revive its 2015 nuclear deal which the US unilaterally abandoned in 2018, with Tehran pushing for the lifting of US economic sanctions.

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“We hope an agreement will be reached to let Iran play a more efficient role, with the aim of providing the energy needed for countries around the world and for European countries,” Kanani told a weekly news conference.

Iran has the world's second largest natural gas reserves, after Russia, but lacks the infrastructure to increase exports, which are currently limited to Iraq and Turkey.

Iran and the six other parties to the 2015 nuclear accord -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US -- have been negotiating a return to the agreement.

It gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program to guarantee that Tehran can not develop a nuclear weapon -- something it has always denied seeking.

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