Punitive action in Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline talks never considered
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 22
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister in International and Trade Affairs Amir Hossein Zamani Nia has said that in its talks with Pakistan on exporting gas to the neighbor country, Iran has never discussed punitive measures, Shana news agency reported Feb. 22.
Iranian officials have repeatedly asserted that despite the fact that Pakistan has long refused to do its part of contract on the IP gas pipeline; the two countries have maintained strong political wills on carrying out the project.
The IP gas pipeline is projected to cost $1.2-1.5 billion and would enable to export 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.
Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the Pakistani side's 700-kilometre section to be constructed.
However, Pakistan has made little progress on laying its section of the long planned pipeline; largely due to lack of funds for the costly project and the U.S pressure to drop it.
Because it failed to do its part by December, 2014, Pakistan legally has to pay penalty as stated in the contract.
Zamani Nia also provided comments on Iran-Russia relations following the 11th session of the Iran-Russia Joint Committee and said following the inking of a number of MoUs in the committee, the Iranian Oil Ministry has also conducted internal cooperation in relation to the agreements made by the sides.
He also pointed to Ali Akbar Velayati visiting Russia as President Hassan Rouhani's ambassador in January and said that the trip was taking in order to enact the agreements made in the joint committee.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak signed the document at the end of the 11th meeting of Iran-Russia Joint Cooperation Commission, a Sept. 19 report said.
The documents include bilateral cooperation in different fields such as industrial, mineral, trade, agricultural, tourism, technology, border issues, and energy.
The two sides also agreed to do their bank transactions by national currencies.
"Iran and Russia's trade value currently stands at 1.5 billion dollars but the figure will rise by ten times in the next two year," Zanganeh said.