Iran-Pakistan Pipeline Deal irks U.S.: Wall Street Journal

TEHRAN, Feb. 21 (MNA) – Wall Street Journal writes in its report on Peace Pipeline agreement that Pakistan’s act in signing the pipeline agreement has irked and angered Washington.

 “…move that has irritated the U.S. and that could lead to economic sanctions if Islamabad begins imports of Iranian gas,” wrote Wall Street Journal, describing the possible implications for Pakistan, if the country imported gas from Iran.

The US has opposed the construction of this pipeline since its inception and has proposed TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India) pipeline to keep Iran away from Asian energy markets.

“Washington has made it clear that it will impose economic sanctions on Islamabad if it begins to buy gas from Iran. In a written reply to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. embassy in Islamabad reiterated the U.S.’s position stating: “Our policy on Iran is well known. We have made it clear to all of our interlocutors around the world that it is in their interests to avoid activities that may be prohibited by UN sanctions or sanctionable under U.S. law,”” wrote Wall Street Journal.

“A third arm of the pipeline was initially planned to run from Multan on to Delhi, India, but India withdraw from the project in 2008 after signing an agreement with the US,” added the WSJ report, and that “While the pipeline could bring relief to energy-starved Pakistan, analysts say that the deal reveals more about the geopolitical dynamics between the U.S., Pakistan and Iran than about the government’s commitment to address the energy crisis.”

“The threat of sanctions has in the past made Islamabad hesitate,” thus “in December, President  Asif Ali Zardari  cancelled a trip to Iran during which he was widely expected to sign the pipeline agreement,” said the report.

Opponents of the pipeline believe that “addressing infrastructure-related inefficiencies would boost electricity supply by up to 15 per cent, and developing Pakistan’s own gas reserves would also be a much cheaper option than importing gas from Iran,” added an analyst.

These remarks has made while most of Pakistan’s gas reserves is located in highly volatile province of Baluchistan, and the security issues would significantly discourage the investors from investments in the region.

SH/EA
MNA
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News Code 54207

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