Iran presses India on gas pipeline

Oct. 17, 2012 at 9:31 AM

TEHRAN, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The ball is in the court of the government in New Delhi in terms of a natural gas pipeline planned from Iran, an Iranian deputy foreign minister for Asia said.

Iran has pressed ahead with the development of a gas pipeline from the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf despite a lack of guarantees from downstream partners.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minster for Asia Abbas Araqchi called on New Delhi to make a final decision on the project in order to expedite development.

"It is up to India to make up its mind and join the project we believe would work in India's interest. We and Pakistan are working on it and we are serious about it," he was quoted by the semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying. "Our part is almost finished and now we are helping Pakistan in finishing their part as well."

Tehran's pipeline ambitious are curtailed by concerns over the economic benefits, however. Sanctions targeting the country's energy sector are meant to decrease financing available for Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Iran, before sanctions went into force during the summer, delivered enough oil to India to meet around 12 percent of the country's energy demands each year.

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