Fate of Iran’s gas export to Pakistan uncertain

Tehran, Jan 1, IRNA – While the deadline for Pakistan to build a pipeline for the import of gas from Iran is over and the Islamabad government should pay a heavy penalty for the delay in implementation of the project, due to the silence of official news sources the fate of the pipeline is not clear yet.
At a time that Pakistani officials have stated a new agreement has been reached between the two countries for the export of gas, Iran’s Oil Ministry in a statement has denied the report.

The Iranian Oil Ministry stressed that negotiations have been held between high-ranking officials of Iran and Pakistan for the gas deal but no new agreement has been reached in this regard yet.

“New agreements on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline are not true,” shana.ir quoted Iran’s Oil Ministry as saying.

Recently news sources have reported that Iran has proposed a revised agreement to Pakistan according to which Islamabad should consider a third party for its payments to Iran.

According to a contract signed between Iran and Pakistan in 2008 Iran’s gas was planned to be exported to Pakistan by December 2014.

Construction of part of the pipeline in Iran has almost been completed but Islamabad has failed to make the pipeline ready and on March 12, 2012 only broke the ground for its construction.

Recently, Pakistani officials have announced that they need $2 billion Iranian investment for the completion of the 780-km pipeline while officials of the Iranian Oil Ministry have said in reply that Iran has made no commitment with regard to financing construction of the pipeline in Pakistan and that the country should meet its financial demands itself.

For a while Pakistan was after attracting Chinese investors for participation in the construction of the pipeline but reached no desirable result because in case of Chinese investment they would be faced with pressures of the US administration.

It is said that on the basis of the contract, for each day of delay Pakistan should pay Iran $2 to $8 million as penalty.

Given the termination of Pakistan’s deadline in December Iran has not announced its official position as to whether it will receive compensation from Pakistan or forgive it.

By IRNA

 

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