Georgia has high hopes for closer economic cooperation with Iran after international sanctions were lifted. Recently, Tbilisi abolished the visa regime with Iran, hoping to increase the flow of tourists from the south. Up until September 2014, tourists from Iran were bringing approximately 100 million dollars a year into Georgia.
Soon Georgia will also import Iranian gas, and a preliminary agreement was reached during a visit to Tehran with the Georgian Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze.
Iran could supply Georgia with gas amounting up to 200 million cubic meters starting at the end of March. This will fully cover the existing deficit in Georgia and will eliminate the need for supply by Gazprom, which is urged by the Georgian opposition.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), which supplies 88% of gas to Georgia, is watching communication between Tbilisi and Tehran warily. However, the parties are set up for a long-term cooperation, and the only problem could be the potential export of gas through the pipeline in Armenia.