Iran gas ""crucial for Pakistan""

October 31, 2007

TEHRAN (PIN) -- The Pakistani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Sadiq says Iran’s gas is crucial for Pakistan to meet its growing energy demands.

During a press conference on Monday, Sadiq pointed to the new U.S. sanctions imposed against Iran and said, ""such sanctions will not prevent economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan,"" IRNA reported.

""We are committed to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project and we will be going ahead with it,"" Sadiq added.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran had earlier announced his country’s full support for the IPI pipeline.

Pervez Musharraf’s government has not yielded to the political pressures over the deal, as it is an economic issue, Shafqat Saeed told ISNA.

We have proposed Iran that if India withdraws from the project the purchased gas would be carried to China through pipeline, he noted.

Pakistan has authorized export of Iran’s gas to China, India, Nepal or any other country through an LNG facility currently under construction, he said.

Russia’s Gazprom has established a branch office in Islamabad to participate in IPI project and Pakistan’s Interstate Gas Co. is to supervise the operations, added Saeid.

During the interview made on the sidelines of the ceremony marking the anniversary of Kashmir’s separation from Pakistan, he said that the deal is expected to be clinched in 2-3 months.