Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid said India may join the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline to import natural gas from Iran that would pass through Pakistan, Fars News Agency reported today.
The original agreement signed before the latest U.S. and EU sanctions was imposed against Iran was to build a so-called Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, linking Iran’s rich Assalouyeh gas field to the two countries. Iran finished its share of pipeline construction up to the Pakistani border in Iranian Baluchistan.
India reneged on the agreement, citing new sanctions imposed against developing such pipeline. Pakistan then announced that it was ready to participate in the project alone, but also backed off from the agreement last summer saying Iran could not finance the construction costs of the pipeline inside Pakistan as previously expected.
Now in light of the Geneva agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and the expectation that a comprehensive deal could be reached soon, lifting all sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas industry, India is apparently reconsidering its position.
“If there is seriousness from all sides, we are ready to import natural gas from Iran and Central Asia through Pakistan,” Khurshid said in New Delhi on Thursday. (Fars News Agency)
Meanwhile, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said in Ankara today that Turkey can double gas imports from Iran if the two sides could agree on a price.
The Iranian export of gas to Turkey during the sanctions, the so-called “gas-for-gold” scheme, has caused an on-going scandal in that country.