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Iran launches natural gas charm offensive

Sept. 25, 2013 at 6:56 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Iranian and Pakistani heads of state discussed natural gas issues on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting, Iran's Oil Ministry said.

Pakistan is eager to secure more natural gas from its Asian partners to relieve a lingering energy crisis in the country. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif discussed the issue on the sidelines of the annual U.N. session late Tuesday, the Iranian Oil Ministry's news website, Shana, reports.

The website said Pakistan plans at some point to send a delegation to Iran to discuss natural gas pipeline options.

Shana reported pipeline construction is under way on both sides of the border. Pakistan could receive 750 million cubic feet of natural gas from Iran each day through the pipeline.

Turkish Speaker of Parliament Jamil Chichak arrived in Tehran, meanwhile, to discuss natural gas transmission. Shana reported both sides viewed their joint efforts in the energy sector as a way to ship Iran's natural gas through Turkey to Europe.

Iran had offered its natural gas to Europe through projects outlined in the Southern Corridor, a network of pipelines meant to break Russia's grip on the European energy sector. However, Western sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector handicap some of its ambitions.

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