ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Iran could double the amount of natural gas it supplies to Pakistan if Islamabad decides to start laying a pipeline in its territory, an Iranian envoy said.
Tehran is pushing for a natural gas pipeline to stretch from the South Pars gas complex in the Persian Gulf through Pakistan and India. The project, however, is up against a Western-backed project from gas-rich Turkmenistan.
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mashallah Shakeri said his country had completed most of the construction for its part of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.
Iran, he told the Pakistan Observer, is waiting for Pakistan to complete its part of the pipeline so Iran can start supplying more gas to its neighbors.
"Iran would be in a position to double its gas supply (to Pakistan) at some desired stage," he was quoted as saying.
The envoy said New Delhi could allay its energy concerns if it decided to join the project, though Indian officials have balked at that prospect.
Tehran aims to deliver more than 740 million cubic feet of natural gas each year through IPI, which could start operating as early as 2013.