By Mahtab Farid, USI NEWS
Washington, July 13, 2005
In a press conference on Wednesday in Capitol Hill, Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) told a group of international reporters about H.Res. 353, a bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives expressing support for a natural gas pipeline linking India and Pakistan economically, and serving as a bridge to promote cooperation.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)
An estimated $7-8 billion pipeline (according to the India’s oil ministry) project that will transport natural gas from Iran through Pakistan to India has concerned the White House. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed concern towards this project because of the Iranian nuclear activities.
Congressman McDermott told USI NEWS, "The issue of the pipeline between Iran and Pakistan and India in my view is an issue all to itself. We can’t tie everything together in the whole world."
He added, this project is about bringing peaceful relationship between India and Pakistan.
Ambassador John W. McDonald, a former international civil servant, said, "These countries are going to do this anyway, because they have a need economically. The government should look at this as an opportunity."
Ambassador McDonald said, the US policy last week shifted towards Iran’s membership to the World Trade Organization.
"That is a very positive sign." He added, "I think this project has a great potential as a second positive sign."
H.RES.353 currently has three cosponsors. Rep Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee, and Rep Joseph Pitts (R-PA).
Congressman McDermott also reacted on the White House statement for the release of Akbar Ganji, the famous Iranian journalist. He said, "I think in every instance the president should use his ability on the basis of saving human rights, preserving human rights, and pushing human rights."
"Some times I agree with the president." He smiled.
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