Armenia says it is negotiating with Iran over the price Yerevan will pay for natural-gas imports from the Islamic republic.
Hayk Harutiunian, deputy minister of energy and natural resources, told RFE/RL's Armenian Service on November 4 that "if we succeed [in the negotiations] Armenian consumers will be able to use Iranian gas in the near future."
Harutiunian led a delegation on a two-day visit to Tehran that ended on November 1.
Armenia's Energaimpex Company and the National Iranian Gas Export Company initialed a memorandum of understanding on Yerevan's purchase and transit of Iranian gas during the trip.
Armenia currently imports up to 500 million cubic meters of Iranian gas annually through a pipeline built in 2008. By comparison, Russian gas supplies to the South Caucasus country total around 2 billion cubic meters per year.
Yerevan has reportedly offered to buy additional amounts of Iranian gas, some of which could be re-exported to Georgia.
Russia currently supplies gas to Armenia for $150 per thousand cubic meters and then Gazprom Armenia -- a subsidiary of Russian gas giant Gazprom that owns Armenia's gas-distribution network -- sells it at much higher rates to households and large businesses.
Gazprom Armenia recently offered to cut the prices of its gas to consumers.