Pakistan envoy hopeful about IPI pipeline project

Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project

Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project

Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Wednesday said he is hopeful that the gas pipeline project involving Iran, Pakistan and India would resume once the issue of sanctions against Iran gets resolved.

“The nuclear deal is struck between Iran and six countries – P5+1 countries – and as soon as sanction (scenario) is removed, we hope to have this project back on track,” he told media persons at an event organised by the MCC Chamber of Commerce here.

In the face of economic sanctions slapped by world powers for its nuclear development programme, Iran signed an agreement in 2013 with six countries – Britain, the US, Russia, China, France and Germany – temporarily freezing a part of its nuclear programme in exchange for reduced sanctions.

India withdrew from the gas pipeline project in 2009, citing security and pricing issues.

“As far as IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline) is concerned, India withdrew from the project a few years ago. So, that project, unfortunately, is facing some problems because of economic sanctions on Iran,” he said.

In January this year, Aaqai Ali Osat Hashemi, the governor of Sistan and Balochistan province in Pakistan, said talks between Pakistan and Iran to resume the IPI pipeline project is “heading in the right direction”.