Pakistan upbeat over Iranian gas pipeline

Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:01 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A planned natural gas pipeline from Iran might not break sanctions rules imposed on Iran's energy sector by the United States, a Pakistani authority said.

The Pakistani government is reviewing the pipeline's prospects ahead of a planned Oct. 23 meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Washington supports a rival pipeline planned from Turkmenistan. U.S. sanctions on Iran may interfere with Pakistan's plans though an official in Islamabad told Pakistani newspaper The Nation the pipeline might not violate any sanctions.

"Since the project would be handled through a non-governmental organization of Iran, therefore, there was no risk of U.S. sanctions attached to the gas pipeline project," the source said Monday on condition of anonymity.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met Sharif on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly last month to discuss energy issues. Sharif said his administration supports the pipeline to address ongoing energy concerns. Pakistan's aging infrastructure and energy sector mismanagement has left most the country without a reliable source of electricity.

Pakistani officials this year said they expect to receive 750 million cubic feet of natural gas from Iran each day through the pipeline once all operations are completed.

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