India agrees to terms on IPI, Iran says

Dec. 2, 2009 at 11:30 AM
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TEHRAN, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- New Delhi agreed to take custody of Iranian gas from the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline at the Pakistani border with India, Iranian officials said Wednesday.

Mehdi Nabizade, the Iranian envoy to New Delhi, told the Iranian Students' News Agency that agreements on the IPI project are moving forward following a round of bilateral talks in India.

"Iran has announced its initial and general agreement in regard to delivery of gas on the Pakistan-India border and work groups must study the details and its delivery place so that the sides can reach an agreement," he said.

Iran is eager to move ahead with the long-delayed IPI project from the South Pars gas field. Tehran and Islamabad agreed on a comprehensive deal for the pipeline earlier this year, though New Delhi's role remained in doubt.

New Delhi said it would join IPI provided security along the pipeline route in Pakistan was guaranteed. It also asked to receive the gas from Iran on the Pakistani border only if Iran made pledges on gas flows to India.

The Indian envoy added Tehran was willing to offer 20 percent of the gas from Phase 12 of the South Pars field to India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

Pakistani officials are scheduled to meet their Iranian counterparts next week in Tehran, and a trilateral meeting on IPI is in the works, the ISNA report said.

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