Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project another defeat for US: MP
Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:3AM
On March 11, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the final construction phase of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, intended to carry natural gas from Iran to its eastern neighbor.An Iranian lawmaker says the US objection to the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project pursues political objectives, stressing that the deal was another political defeat for Washington in the region.
“The US opposition to the transfer of gas to Pakistan has political aspects against the Islamic Republic and seeks to prevent Iran’s stability in the region,” a member of the Majlis Energy Committee Neder Fereydouni told ISNA on Saturday.The IP gas project was launched under the circumstances that the Western imperialism has seriously sought to discourage the Pakistani government from implementing the deal and has focused on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline instead, he added. The current Pakistani government, however, selected Iran to supply the country’s gas, the legislator pointed out. He added that Iran plays a fundamental role in the energy sector and the transfer of gas to other countries. Fereydouni said that the IP project could serve the interests of both Tehran and Islamabad. On March 11, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the final construction phase of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, intended to carry natural gas from Iran to its eastern neighbor. The pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages. The US Department of State on March 11 threatened Pakistan with sanctions if Islamabad went through with its multi-billion-dollar project with Iran. Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday downplayed Washington’s threats, expressing confidence that the United States would never impose sanctions on Pakistan because of the IP gas pipeline project. Pakistan faces a crushing energy crisis, which has caused difficulties in financing the pipeline, whose section on Pakistani soil stretches from the border between the two countries to Nawabshah region. Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its territory. SF/HJL/MA