Iran, Pakistan to speed up IP project

iran pakistanIran and Pakistan have agreed to accelerate the implementation of a multi-billion-dollar bilateral gas pipeline project, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry says.

“It was also agreed that a meeting will be held shortly between the experts of both sides to review parameters for accelerating work on IP (Iran-Pakistan) Gas pipeline,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The decision was made during a meeting between Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Iran’s capital, Tehran, on Monday.

The United States has long been threatening Pakistan with economic sanctions if Islamabad goes ahead with the pipeline project with the Islamic Republic.

However, the government of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made it clear that addressing the country’s longstanding energy problems will be its top priority, and it has no plans to reverse the decision on the completion of the pipeline.

The project, which was initially referred to as the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) or Peace Pipeline, was inaugurated by Tehran and Islamabad after India abandoned negotiations in 2009 despite preliminary agreements with Iran and Pakistan.

However, New Delhi in March voiced willingness to re-enter negotiations over the project, describing the multi-billion-dollar project as “beneficial” to New Delhi.

Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 700-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be constructed.


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