Iran and Pakistan to Discuss Stalled Gas Link
An Iranian delegation is expected to visit Islamabad soon to discuss the long-delayed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, The Express Tribute reported May 12, citing a Pakistani official.
Mobin Saulat, managing director of state-owned Interstate Gas Company, said the delegation will visit after the festival of Eid-ul Fitr, which takes place early-June. However, the final date of the meeting will be decided after receiving confirmation from Iran.
The IP pipeline is stalled due to US sanctions on Iran and pressure on Pakistan. The Iranian section is already built but Pakistan is yet to start on its 781km section. Under the original agreement signed between the two nations, Pakistan should have started using the route to import 8bn m3/yr of Iranian gas in January 2015.
Pakistan and Iran have already agreed to review a gas sales purchase agreement signed in 2009. However, in February Iran sent a notice to Islamabad that it plans to take it before the International Court of Justice for failing to build its section of the IP Pipeline within the timeframe stipulated in the bilateral agreement. Saulat said Pakistan has until August to respond to Iran’s legal notice and settle the issue through negotiations.