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Washington Threatens Pakistan with Sanctions if it continues with Iran Pipeline

By James Burgess | Tue, 06 August 2013 21:55 | 6

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.

Related article: Iran Gets Creative Over Energy Payments from Turkey and Pakistan

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
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

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  • Irfan Alam on October 25 2013 said:
    The Baloch deparatism is a minor problem for Pakistan, once it gets going with the real backlog of development in the Baluchistan province. In casethings get awry, at the most it may become another Tibet in its backyard. The last time the Baluchi's threw tantru8ms during Bhutto's heyday, quite a few of their Sirdars were made to walk the plank on helicopters by the tough Pakistani military, similar tactics might well put the rocket under the tails of any disaffected who might throw their weight around.
  • Muhammad Nazimuddin Sheikh on August 19 2013 said:
    What a childish approach from such Uni-Super power of present times?
    Come on USA, let the others to get the benefits of natural resources of this planet.
  • Martin Katchen on August 08 2013 said:
    To truly block this pipeline--and put teeth into the sanctions against Iran, the US would have to back an independent and secessionary Balochistan, pulling together both the Pakistani Balochi separatists and the Iranian Baloch separatist Jundallah. It would amount to a major shift in US foreign policy, which has been biased against secession anywhere since the American Civil War and only grudgingly accepts secessionary fait accompli in some cases ala Eritrea and South Sudan. And such a policy would likely be a prelude to an American invasion of Iran. Other than that, not much the US can do, especially if China backs this pipeline as one way for it to gain access to Iranian natural gas too.
  • Janko Svarc on August 08 2013 said:
    Unfortunately, this article doesn't explain to us the readers the reason or reasons why the US State Department is so adamantly opposed to this pipeline.
  • ownsyed on August 07 2013 said:
    Ladies and gentlemen here comes the global bully the hidden terrorist, U.S.A.

    So I say do it then, what are you waiting for. All american sanctions are illegal.

    why U.S has nukes the only country who is threat to world, only country that has used it, twice.

    Iran is friend of Pakistan, and Pakistanis are not a afraid of U.S. We are proud and brave nation.

    Stop threatening just do it. We were stronger when we were under sanctions more unified, more independent. bring it what ever u got.
  • ownsyed on August 07 2013 said:
    Ladies and gentlemen here comes the global bully the hidden terrorist, U.S.A.

    So I say do it then, what are you waiting for. All amercunt sanctions are illegal.

    why U.S has nukes the only country who is threat to world, only country that has used it, twice.

    Iran is friend of Pakistan, and Pakistanis are not a afraid of U.S. We are proud and brave nation.

    Stop threatening just do it. We were stronger when we were under sanctions back in late 90s, 80s.

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