Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New Delhi today on a five-hour visit dominated by talks on India’s participation in Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.
Ahmadinejad told reporters after meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he was optimistic about India’s participation.
IPI pipeline will be 2,200-km (1,615-mile) long, linking Iran’s South Pars gas fields to Pakistan and India. The construction cost is estimated at about $7.5 billion.
India has been under tremendous pressure from the US not to sign off on the project. Indications from Delhi today show that Ahmadinejad may have offered the Indians a pricing structure well below the market price in order to lure them to sign off on the project.
No formal agreements were announced during the visit.
I know nothing about petroleum or gas pipelines. This may be a purely politically motivated piece. But for what it's worth:
India-Iran gas pipeline "infeasible" for now: US expert
03 May 2008
CHICAGO: The proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline is "absolutely infeasible" in the foreseeable future because financial, political, legal and security circumstances do not support it, a well-informed American expert says.
"None of the three countries involved in the talks has the resources to fund the pipeline. There are serious security concerns, especially because it passes through Baluchistan in Pakistan. Virtually no public or private consortiums would want to build it because there is now also the issue of Iran's nuclear quest," Christine Faire, a senior political scientist at the think tank Rand Corporation, told reporters.
Asked why then there is such a sanguine mood in India, Iran and Pakistan about the pipeline, Faire said, "It is posturing about the future. From India's point of view it is about locking in price and access in the future when Iran will have normalized its relations with the world. She said when even former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, "the sanest of them all", could not normalize relations with the world, it will be unrealistic to expect the current President, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, or his future successor to do so that easily.
Full piece Here.
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