Iran, Pakistan talk about peace pipeline

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 9

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

Iranian Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and his Pakistani counterpart held a meeting in Tehran on Monday.

The two sides reviewed the latest situation of the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, the IRNA News Agency reported on Dec. 9.

Pakistan's Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is currently in Tehran for gas talks with high-ranking Iranian officials.

Abbasi is being accompanied by a high-ranking delegation of Pakistani officials.

A deal which was signed between Iran and the P5+1 a few weeks ago has drawn the proposed Iran-Pakistan pipeline closer to becoming a reality.

The Iranian oil minister had previously said that he is not optimistic about Tehran's gas exports to Islamabad.

APP on Nov. 28 quoted Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as saying that Pakistan will find an opportunity to complete the proposed gas pipeline project within a year.

"I think trade restrictions will be lifted on Iran following agreement between Iran and world powers," he said.

Abbasi said that Pakistan has intensified its efforts to realize the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

Following inking of a deal on Tehran's nuclear program between Iran and world powers, the current conditions bring the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project closer to materialization.

He said a meeting with his Iranian counterpart is expected next month in this regard.

Prominent economist Iqbal Hamid Khan has also said that the Iran-Pakistan pipeline has become more significant in the present scenario.

He said that pipeline project can only be pursued if sanctions against Iran were lifted.

He said that the price at which Iran is going to sell gas to Pakistan is a little high, but the electricity generated from imported gas will help resolve a shortage of electricity, besides reducing the power tariff.

Iqbal Hamid Khan said that a two-year period is required for completion of the project if work on it is started right now, inside Pakistan.

It was reported on Nov. 17 that Tehran has officially requested New Delhi to join the peace pipeline project.

Since Pakistan has failed to fulfill its obligations in the peace pipeline project deal, Iran has turned toward India for carrying out the project, the Tasnim News Agency reported on Nov. 17.

Deputy Oil minister Ali Majedi told the Tasnim News Agency on Nov. 17 that even China can benefit from the proposed gas pipeline.

Since Islamabad has failed to construct its share of the pipeline, Iran hopes that maybe India can invest in Pakistan's share of the project.

Zanganeh said on Nov. 4 that Iran has nearly completed its share of the peace gas pipeline.

"Tehran is now waiting for Pakistan to complete its share of the pipeline to start pumping gas to its eastern neighbor," the ISNA News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying.

Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily said in March that India is negotiating with Iran and the United States to join the peace pipeline project.

Moily confessed that the pipeline project was beneficial for India, the Indian media reported.

The peace pipeline project was originally initiated between Iran and Pakistan. Later India expressed an interested in joining this project.

The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline projected to cost $1.2-1.5 billion, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on Sept. 2 called for expansion of oil and gas ties with neighboring India during a meeting with the Indian Ambassador to Iran, D.P. Srivastava, SHANA News Agency reported.

"Tehran and New Delhi have good potential to boost their bilateral energy cooperation," Zanganeh said.

The Indian ambassador congratulated Zanganeh for taking the office of oil minister.

Srivastava also stressed the need to increase the two country's energy ties.

Iran is one of the biggest oil suppliers to New Delhi.

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