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Pakistan sees hope for Iranian gas pipeline

Nov. 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM   |   Comments

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A Pakistani government official said a breakthrough nuclear deal with Tehran may breathe new life into a natural gas pipeline planned from Iran.

"We hope the agreement between Iran and the world powers would revive confidence of countries like China and Russia to finance the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project," the official told The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, Monday.

Iran and delegates from the so-called P5-plus-1 nations -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany -- in concert with the European Union, reached a landmark nuclear deal in Geneva, Switzerland, last weekend. Under the terms of the agreement, Iran agreed to suspend certain parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some economic sanctions.

"We are hopeful that those [foreign finance] institutions would have some confidence and they would sponsor the [pipeline] project after Iran and Western nations inked the agreement," a second official said.

The Pakistani government said its aging energy sector is leaving it short on electricity.

The U.S. government has objected to the pipeline, favoring a rival project planned from Turkmenistan.

The U.S. State Department in early November said it was negotiating the terms of a $95 million loan to Pakistan to help it build a 50 megawatt wind power plant to help establish a layer of reliable electricity.

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