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Iran gas pipeline may extend to Bangladesh

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Indian officials plan to push for the revival of the $7-billion gas pipeline from Iran that will cross Pakistan.

Iran is ready to talk extending the “peace pipeline” to Bangladesh in a project which envisages exports of the Iranian gas to Pakistan and India, Tehran’s Ambassador to Dhaka says.

Abbas Vaezi said the issue had been discussed between Iranian and Bangladeshi governments as well as with India and Pakistan, adding “they must have a feasibility study” to proceed further.

Bangladesh’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Nasrul Hamid has been invited to Tehran where he will discuss all energy-related issues including the gas pipeline, the ambassador added.

The recent conclusion of nuclear talks with Iran has revived interest in the “peace pipeline” which ran into hurdles after India withdrew from the project and Pakistan failed to fulfill its obligations.

In July, Pakistan's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan said Islamabad would be able to resume the project after the conclusion of the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1.

The project launched in 2010 aims to construct 1,800 kilometers (over 1,100 miles) of pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. Iran announced the completion of its part in 2013, but Pakistan suspended the work allegedly due to sanctions on Tehran.

Tehran’s Ambassador Abbas Vaezi (R) talks to a Bangladeshi reporter in Dhaka.

Pakistani officials have said 700 kilometers of the pipeline will be built by the Chinese and another 80 km by Islamabad on its territory.

Indian officials also plan to push for the revival of the $7-billion gas pipeline from Iran, the country’s media have said.

Vaezi said Pakistan and India could not progress with the project due to the sanctions, “but now that the sanction is going to be lifted very soon, both the countries would start constructing the pipeline”.

The ambassador also said Iran has expressed willingness to sell oil to Bangladesh at a special rate. He said a barter system is possible similar to the arrangement between Iran and India.

In his visit to Tehran, Bangladesh’s energy minister will also discuss modernizing the country’s sole oil refinery which has been built with Iran’s assistance. Talks will include rebuilding and increasing the capacity of the Eastern Refinery, Vaezi said. 

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