Iran urges Pakistan to build its own section of gas pipeline

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh asked Pakistan on Sunday to build its own section of natural gas pipeline.

"Big volume of gas is (ready for delivery) near the Pakistan border," Zanganeh was quoted as saying by SHANA website affiliated to Iran's Oil Ministry.

Pakistan should build its own section of the pipeline, he said, adding that "In case Pakistan takes action to construct the pipeline on its soil, the project will be completed" and Iran's gas will flow into the neighboring country.

On Oct. 30, Zanganeh said Iran was not hopeful about exporting its natural gas to the neighboring state of Pakistan "because the conditions set by the Pakistani government has made export of Iranian gas to Pakistan unlikely."

By his remarks, the Iranian oil minister was alluding to the earlier reports which said that Iran's southeastern neighbor had asked the Islamic republic to finance on the gas pipeline to be built on Pakistan soil.

The local reports said Pakistan had asked Iran for financing of 2 billion U.S. dollars to construct 780-km gas pipeline on its soil.

On Thursday, Pakistan Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said his country insists on implementing the deal with the Islamic republic so that it could import natural gas to his country.

In March, Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the 7.5-billion- dollar project in Iran's southeastern city of Chabahar which was supposed to link Iran's gas pipeline to that of Pakistan.

The United States has threatened sanctions against Pakistan if the South Asian nation presses ahead with the gas pipeline project with its western neighbor.

Iran possesses the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia but its gas project developments and exports have been seriously hit by the western sanctions in the past years due to its insistence on maintaining its controversial nuclear program. Endi

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