Yes, well, this is no surprise, really. I’d be pretty keen on directing a major potential competitor far away from the market I’m trying to corner, too. And if I could make some money on the deal, all the better.
Unfortunately, the last “I” — for India — is no longer a sure thing on the IPI “Peace” Pipeline. The stabilizing effect that would have had would have made the deal at least a palatable trade-off for losing Iranian gas for Nabucco. Now I’ve seen some reports that the Iranian gas might end up in China after transiting Pakistan. If Gazprom does get in on it, that would mean Iran, Russia and China might all benefit from a deal that simultaneously tightens the screws on Europe. Not good.
Involvement in Nabucco should be a central component of any effort at engaging Iran. It would guarantee neither Nabucco’s nor engagement’s success. But it would be worth it just to watch the Russians squirm.