Iran says India can rejoin pipeline deal

TEHRAN, May 25 (MNA) – India can still join the deal between Iran and Pakistan for the establishment of the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, Iranian oil minister’s representative to the IPI talks said on Monday.

A day after Tehran and Islamabad signed an agreement on the exports of Iranian gas to Pakistan, IRINN quoted Hojjatollah Ghanimifard as saying that, “Up to now, no Indian official has stated this county’s withdrawal from the project and we hope they make their decision soon.”


India has seemingly changed its strategy for meeting domestic energy needs in the long run,” Ghanimifard said, adding, “India still has the choice to resume gas talks with Iran and Pakistan.” 


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inked an agreement in Tehran on Sunday finalizing the deal to transfer gas from Iran to Pakistan.


According to the deal, Iran will initially transfer 30 million cubic meters of gas per day to Pakistan, but will eventually increase the gas transfer to 60 million cubic meters per day.


The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project was conceptualized in 1990. Negotiations over the project were initiated in 1994 between the three countries but there were obstacles to closing the three-way deal due to tension between India and Pakistan, according to IRNA.


India has not participated in the last several rounds of talks, but Iran has encouraged India to rejoin the process.


The IPI gas pipeline is a proposed 2,775-kilometer pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India.


The project is expected to greatly benefit India and Pakistan, which do not have sufficient natural gas to meet their rapidly increasing domestic demand for energy.






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