Iran, Pakistan, India aim to sign pipeline pact in July

By Xinhua

Tehran : Iran, Pakistan and India are striving to sign an agreement in July to export natural gas from Iran to the two nations, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday quoting an Iranian minister.

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Iran's Oil Minister Seyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh evaluated the views of all sides of the so-called Peace Pipeline Agreement as positive, adding that US sanctions did not have any effect on the trend of the agreement.

The final date set by the three sides for achieving a result on the agreement is July 30 and all sides will make their best efforts to prevent any delay, he said.

According to the IRNA report, although India and Pakistan, the former in particular, are under US pressure to suspend talks, the countries are seriously pursuing talks and trying their best to achieve a mutual understanding on the cost of gas transfer.

A round of expert talks on the details of the agreement will be held in Tehran next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The $7.2 billion IPI gas project envisages a 2,670 km pipeline, covering 1,115 km in Iran, 705 km in Pakistan and 850 km in India, and it would help to transport Iran's gas to meet India and Pakistan's increasing energy requirements.

While the three sides have held a series of talks on the project, the US has voiced opposition to it, reflecting concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions.