Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Iran: Joint Iran-Pakistan gas project excluded from western sanctions

Source: IRNA

Islamabad, Jan 22, IRNA – Parliamentary Affairs Consultant of Federal Pakistan Government Foreign Minister Palwa Sha Khan said here Monday imposed sanctions on Iran gas and oil by EU and US do not include joint Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

According to IRNA, local sources further quoted Palwa Sha Khan as saying Monday evening in a meeting with members of National Pakistan Government, 'Despite the imposed sanctions against Iran, negotiations regarding the project for transferring Iran's natural gas to Pakistan have had good progress.

Referring to the holding of meetings for providing the required budget for completing the project, he said, 'During the course of the past year we have had meetings with the Iranian officials regarding the provision of the budget for this project and solving the financial problems.'

Addressing the Pakistani Parliament members, Khan said that the Pakistani government has reached noticeable results in talks with the Iranian side regarding providing the required budget for this project.

The Parliamentary Affairs Consultant of Federal Pakistan Government Foreign Minister added, 'We have signed the agreement for buying and the contract for construction of the part of the pipeline which lies inside Pakistan's soil, as well.

The joint Iran-Pakistan gas contract was signed between the two countries' officials in the year 2010 and according to it was agreed that the Iranian gas would be transferred to Pakistan from Iran's Asalouyeh Port in Bushehr province to Bawab Sha Port in southern Pakistan.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, too, said at the parliamentary session, 'The Iranian officials have proposed to establish a new boarder market at Irtan-Pakistan boarder.

Addressing the MP, Ms. Khar said, 'Pakistan has acted responsibly in case of the emerged boarder tensions with India and has asked for peaceful solving of the issues with India regarding numerous violations of the ceasefire at the Line of Control (LOC) at disputed Kashmir region.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar says Iran and Pakistan have made progress in building a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline, despite illegal US-engineered sanctions.

Addressing a National Assembly session on Monday, the Pakistani minister added that Islamabad faced a “huge challenge” to fund the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline.

She emphasized that Pakistan required USD1.5 billion to build the 781-kilometer pipeline needed for the implementation of the project on its soil.

The foreign minister stated that her country is holding talks with Tehran to find ways to “solve the financial constraints.”

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

Iran has already built more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

The Express Tribune reported on January 10 that Iran and Pakistan have devised a plan to finance the gas pipeline on Pakistan’s side without the need for Islamabad to transfer funds to Tehran.

The report came a day after the board of directors of the Pakistani Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) announced that Tehran will grant a USD500-million loan to Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group.

In the first phase, Iran will lend USD250 million and extend the assistance later to USD500 million.

The proposal will be submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee of Pakistan’s Cabinet for approval.