Iran offers India n-energy, hopeful on gas pipeline


New Delhi : Iran plans to supply electricity to India using nuclear technology even as a visiting Iranian minister Thursday sounded optimistic about the proposed India-Pakistan-Iran (IPI) gas pipeline.

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“Iran intends to generate 20,000 MW of electricity from nuclear plants and can supply surplus electricity to India via Pakistan,” said Danesh Jafri, Iranian minister for economic affairs and finance.

Jafri was speaking at an interactive meeting organised by the trade body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) here.

On the proposed trilateral gas pipeline, Jafri said Iran was waiting for India and Pakistan to resolve their bilateral commercial issues.

He dismissed the suggestion that the proposed gas pipeline was stuck because of the US pressure.

“Opposition may come from anywhere, but we can act alongside such pressure,” the Iranian minister said.

He also brushed aside fears that financiers might keep away from the proposed pipeline in the face of American pressure.

“India and Iran along with Pakistan can finance the proposed trans-national gas pipeline without outside support,” Jafri said.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Sarthak Behuria, head of the state-owned refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and chairman of the India-Iran joint business council, brought to the visiting minister’s notice key roadblocks slowing India-Iran bilateral trade.

“Banking issues and reimbursement of the Iranian letters of credit (LCs) and their confirmation by Indian banks has remained as a de-motivating factor for the Indian and Iranian businessmen to build upon the existing trade relations,” Behuria said.

In this context, he called for setting up an arbitration council at the level of business chambers of the two countries.

“Setting up a conflict and arbitration council between affiliate chambers of the two countries for assisting member companies for recovery of payments and contractual issues would indeed be a step in the right direction,” he said.