US maintains 'serious concerns' over Pak-Iran gas pipeline

If this project goes forward, Iran Sanctions Act will be triggered, says US State Dept spokesperson.


Huma Imtiaz March 11, 2013
Iranians work on a section of a gas pipeline linking Iran and Pakistan after the project was launched during a ceremony in the Iranian border city of Chah Bahar on March 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland reiterated the US' stance on the Pak-Iran gas pipeline, saying they had serious concerns about the project that was formally inaugurated today.

"We have serious concerns if this project actually goes forward; the Iran Sanctions Act would be triggered. We have been straightforward with Pakistan on this," said the spokesperson.

"We have also been working on alternative projects. We've heard this pipeline announced 10-15 times before in the past. If this project goes forward we have serious concerns that sanctions will be triggered."

Nuland said if the project went forward, it would take Pakistan in the wrong direction.

President Asif Ali Zardari along with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad inaugurated the multi-billion dollar pipeline in Chahbahar on Monday.

The contentious gas pipeline was inaugurated by Zardari as he pulled the rope to reveal the foundation-laying plaque on the Pak-Iran border for the 1,600 kilometre long pipeline.

The US has issued warnings to invoke economic sanctions already in place against Iran if Pakistan went ahead with its plans to import natural gas from the Islamic republic.

The United States has steadfastly opposed Pakistani and Indian involvement, saying the project could violate sanctions imposed on Iran over nuclear activities that Washington suspects are aimed at developing a weapons capability. Iran denies this.

COMMENTS (16)

Rex Minor | 8 years ago | Reply

@Sarmad Hassan: It is about time that Pakistan eset its compass towards East and get ready to break with USA if it must to safeguard its national interests. Pakistan should refrain from the use of Nuclear energy fo civilian use, which Japan and Europe is abondoning in favour of solar energy.

Rex Minor

Jadugar | 8 years ago | Reply

@ Catious, Perhaps they should, This may make them realize that threat and bullying will not work forever, US may be a super power but not the owner of Pakistan and its population. Being CAUTIOUS is not always be the way to go.

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