India Still Has Time To Join Pipeline Consortium

January 2010 Vol. 237 No. 1

The offer to join the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline still stands for India although Iran said it cannot wait indefinitely because the structure of the project could still change.

Work on the massive project has begun since Iran signed a bilateral arrangement with Pakistan. “The door is open for our Indian friends. IPI will be a reality but I am not sure about the future,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

More than 100 kilometers are complete on the Iranian side while work has begun in Pakistan. “When you consider this pipeline bilaterally, there is a definite capacity. If we make commitments with other partners, with other pipelines, to other regions, it may be necessary for the structure of the project to change,” Mottaki added.

The plan for the 2,775-km pipeline began almost two decades ago with the ambitious goal of transporting natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India. India has not joined the deal because of its disagreement with Iran and Pakistan over various issues such as security, pricing of gas and the delivery point in the country. China has expressed interest in joining the project.

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