|‘Iran won’t sell Pakistan gas at discount price’||
TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has announced that the country will not supply Pakistan natural gas at a discount price.
He made the announcement in his first round of talks with Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Tehran on Tuesday, the Mehr News Agency reported.
However, both the countries agreed to formulate a road map to address the challenges and to have effective coordination and cooperation on the project, according to a statement published by Pakistan’s ministry of Foreign Office.
It was also agreed that a meeting will be held shortly between the experts of both sides to review parameters for accelerating work on the IP gas pipeline, the statement reads.
Abbasi said that Pakistan is committed to building a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline from neighboring Iran, but the threat of international sanctions makes the task difficult.
Zanganeh said in November he had no hope of exporting gas to Pakistan because financing is not available to finish building a pipeline.
"Given the current conditions, we do not have hope for exporting gas to Pakistan," Zanganeh said.
Dubbed the "peace pipeline", the $7.5 billion project has faced repeated delays since it was conceived in the 1990s to connect Iran's giant South Pars gas field to Pakistan and India.
The Iranian side of the $7.5-billion project is almost complete, but Pakistan has run into repeated problems paying for the 780-kilometer section to be built on its side of the border.
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