Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for international affairs Ali Majedi underscored the country's high potential for boosting gas production, and said the ministry plans to start supplying natural gas to Iraq in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21). Majedi said the deal for Iran’s gas exports to Iraq has been finalized. “Iran-Iraq export pipeline is currently under construction,” he said, and added that given the progress in talks, gas exports to Iraq will start this year. Majedi, however, said talks about a planned Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline for the delivery of Iran’s gas to Europe will resume when conditions are back to normal in Syria. Iran and Iraq have signed an agreement for the construction of a pipeline that will carry natural gas from Iran to feed power plants in the Southern Iraqi province of Basra. The 56-inch pipeline will start from Assaluyeh, near the massive offshore South Pars Gas Field in Southern Iran, and will continue into Iraq to feed three Iraqi power plants running on gas. The pipeline will be designed in such a way that it will be able to deliver gas to other Muslim countries like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in the future. Iran, which sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, is making efforts to raise its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, especially in South Pars gas field.