TEHRAN, June 26 (UPI) -- Building a natural gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan will provide a source of security for the region, a development official from Iran said.
Iran aims to build a natural gas pipeline from the offshore South Pars field to its neighbors in Pakistan. India was at one time an assured partner under a project once dubbed the Peace Pipeline.
Alireza Gharibi, managing director of the Iranian Gas Engineering Development Co., said building the pipeline would be good for the region.
"Launching Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline will not only deepen the friendly relations between the two countries but reinforce security in the region," he told the Iranian Oil Ministry's Web site.
Tehran has said it was working on the pipeline on its side of the border. A 200-mile section from southern Iran to the Pakistan border was around 20 percent completed, the ministry stated.
The project is considered a rival to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline, which has the backing of the Asian Development Bank and the U.S. government. Security in Afghanistan, however, could complicate the project.