Earlier in the year Washington voiced concerns over plans to construct a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, threatening Pakistan with their own set of sanctions if they continued with the project.
Pakistan denies that the $7.5 billion ‘Peace Pipeline’, as it is being called, will violate any of the sanctions currently in effect against Iran, but Victoria Nuland, the old spokesperson for the US State Department, said that “we have serious concerns if this project actually goes forward that the Iran Sanctions Act would be triggered.”
So far Iran has completed its 900 kilometre segment of the pipeline, and on the 11th of March 2013 Pakistan held a ceremony to mark the commencement of its section which will begin at the Iranian town of Chahbahar, on the border.
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Once it is completed in December 2014 the two countries hope that the new pipeline will deliver 21.5 million cubic metres of natural gas a day from the giant offshore South Pars field off the coast of Iran, to Pakistan.
On Friday the 2nd of August 2013 the spokesperson for the Pakistani Foreign Office, Aizaz Chaudhry, announced that his government had supplied US Secretary of State John Kerry with a ‘non-paper’ over the pipeline, explaining that Pakistan were only involved in the project as providing a means of addressing the country’s energy deficit.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the US had once again warned that the Iran-Pakistan pipeline could invoke sanctions on Pakistan in the future.
Proposed route for Iran-Pakistan Pipeline
Nawaz Sharif also noted that as one of the world’s nine nuclear powers (US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel) it was sad that Pakistan was suffering a chronic energy shortage. He blames previous governments for having failed to invest appropriately and devised adequate plans to meet the growing energy shortage.
He stated that it will now take some time to resolve the problem as his government must start from scratch, and that “had they [previous governments] done some work on this end, the situation would have been much different.”
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com