When Israel’s gas imports to Iran are halted by sanctions, the Israeli government will have to import more from Iran in order to make up for the shortfall, the foreign minister of Israel said on Wednesday.
Netanyahu said during his weekly cabinet meeting that the Israeli economy is facing a “major” problem and that imports to the Middle Eastern country of about 1.2 million cubic meters (3.6 million tons) of natural gas per day are being delayed because of the sanctions, which have been in place since mid-2014.
Netayahu told the cabinet that Israel is planning to import 3.6 cubic meters of natural-gas from Iran this year, of which about 200 cubic meters will be for the next two months, according to the report.
Israel has the second-largest natural gas reserves in the Middle East, but imports from the country have been slowed by sanctions.
In March, Israel cut imports of natural energy, gas and coal to Iran by 90% and imports of oil from Iran by 80%.
Netayu also said that Israel’s cooperation with the United States and the European Union on combating terrorism, in addition to the bilateral trade and economic cooperation, has been a success.
Netanyahus cooperation on combating the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria has also been a major success, he added.
Israel imports almost 70% of its natural gas from the Islamic Republic, but it is not yet able to supply the rest of the world with gas, the minister said.
In 2016, Israel imported about 1 billion cubic meters, of a total gas capacity of about 10.4 billion cubic feet (4.5 billion cubic kilometers), the foreign ministry said.
Iran, the world’s largest supplier of gas to Israel, is the second largest importer of Israeli gas, behind Saudi Arabia, according a 2017 report by the World Bank.