Envoy denies halt to Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project

Tasnim – Pakistan’s Ambassador to Tehran Rafat Masoud quashed rumors that her country has decided to back off from completing a pipeline project for the import of natural gas from Iran.

The Pakistani ambassador dismissed media reports that Islamabad has walked away from the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline project, slamming them as “unfounded rumors” spread by Arab-language media.

Islamabad and Tehran know that certain states do not favor their friendly ties and take every opportunity to harm the relations, Masoud said.

Her comments came after the Dawn newspaper reported that Pakistan has informed Iran of its inability to abide by the agreement to build the gas pipeline because of the US sanctions against Iran.

In another report, Arab News quoted Managing Director of Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Mobin Saulat as saying that “it is impossible to execute the IP gas pipeline project because of US sanctions on Iran and we have conveyed it to them (Iran) in writing recently.”

Nonetheless, the Pakistani ambassador to Iran underlined that the report is groundless, as there is no video of Saulat’s comments anywhere.

Mobin Saulat has not made any remarks about the project, she emphasized.

The envoy also noted that a high-ranking Iranian delegation will soon visit Pakistan to discuss the implementation of the project with authorities in Islamabad.

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, which stretches for 900 kilometers only in Iran, has been designed to help populous Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs.

Construction work on the Pakistani part of the pipeline was inaugurated in March 2013 and was planned to be completed within 22 months. But the work has still not begun after six years.