Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran Warns India Over Pakistan Gas Pipeline Deal - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

TEHRAN (AFP) -Iran warned India that it would sign a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline deal with Pakistan alone if New Dehli did not swiftly agree terms on transit pricing with Islamabad.

Iranian and Pakistani officials are holding a new round of talks this week over finalising the long-delayed pipeline, which would see Iranian gas sent to Pakistan and to India via Pakistan.

But Indian officials have been absent from the talks over the so-called “peace pipeline” as New Delhi and Islamabad have yet to agree over the payment of transit fees by India to Pakistan.

“We prefer it to be a tripartite deal, but if it does not happen we will sign it with the Pakistanis,” caretaker Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari told reporters.

But he repeated that the door is not totally closed for the Indian side.

“We are still emphasising that we want it to be tripartite deal. The door is still open for the Indians,” he added.

India said Tuesday it remained committed to the deal despite its not attending the new round of talks in Tehran.

Discussions on the 7.4-billion-dollar project started in 1994, but have been held up by technical and commercial issues.

There have also been strong objections to the pipeline from the United States — a key friend of Pakistan and an ever closer ally of India — which is at loggerheads with Iran over its contested nuclear programme.

The 2,600-kilometre (1,600-mile) pipeline from Iran’s giant South Pars gas field would initially carry around 60 million standard cubic metres (2.2 billion cubic feet) of gas per day.

Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia but until now has remained a relatively minor player in the global export market.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube