ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey has signed a deal with Iran to import an annual 3-6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from the Islamic republic, Turkey’s energy minister said yesterday. Hilmi Guler, fresh from a trip to Iran to discuss recent energy deals between the two countries, told reporters at the airport that electricity lines between Turkey and Iran should be finished in a year. «There are technical teams that are still meeting regarding the construction of these lines… But the lines are seen as being completed within one year,» the energy minister said. Oil and natural gas importer Turkey has strengthened energy ties with Iran in recent months, despite protests from the USA, which opposes trade and investment with Iran. Details regarding the production and import of the electricity are still to be worked out, said Guler. The deal also included plans for Turkey’s private sector to construct a 10,000-megawatt hydroelectric power plant, Guler said. On Sunday an energy official told Reuters that Turkey expected also to build three power plants with Iran which would have a total capacity of 6,000 MW. The plants will be built in both countries. In July, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding which would pave the way for $3.5 billion worth of Turkish investment in Iran’s South Pars gas field, said Turkish energy officials.