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India denies US pressure over Iranian pipeline

New Delhi, May 08, IRNA - India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora has denied reports of United States pressuring India over the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. He said talks are underway with the other two countries for expediting the project.

"The US is not pressuring us on the Indo-Iranian gas pipeline issue. India is not a country which can be pressurized," Deora said while referring to reports that the US was delaying the nuclear deal with India citing the dlrs 7.4 billion gas pipeline project.

"Those who are thinking that the US is mounting pressure on us are mistaken," Deora told mediapersons in Surat in Gujarat state, Monday, a PTI report said here.

"The government is trying its best to reach a solution between Iran, Pakistan and India for the pipeline," he said addressing mediapersons after commissioning a part of the 576 kms of Dahej-Uran gas pipeline.

The project is not making headway as the differences between Islamabad and New Delhi over the tariff India is to pay to transport gas from Iran through the 1,035 km stretch in Pakistan remain unresolved. The price, at which Iran is willing to supply gas to India, is another area which requires consensus.

"Once the gas pipeline is laid it will help both Pakistan and India get gas," he said.

"High-level talks are on for the purpose between the oil ministers of Iran and Pakistan," Deora said, adding that he had met his Iranian counterpart twice on the issue at Riyadh and Tehran recently.

When asked why the negotiations between the three countries was taking time, Deora said, "It is a big project and so it is taking time".

"We are trying our best to see that this project goes through," he added.

Talking about the LNG contract signed between India and Iran in 2005, Deora said, "We are trying to purchase gas at the cheapest rates possible from Iran".

The minister, however, did not reveal the price that was being negotiated by the two countries.

India rules out outside interference in Iran's pipeline project

New Delhi, May 08, IRNA - According to an All India Radio (AIR) report, replying to supplementaries in Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) here Tuesday, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Murli Deora said, the US energy secretary who wanted to know about the progress in the project, he was told clearly that it is of no concern to Washington.

Replying to a pointed query, the minister elaborated that India will not be cowed down by any outside pressure on the issue.

The Minister made it clear that public sector oil companies are financing energy projects through internal resource generation. He said that about 39 thousand crores of rupees has been earmarked for this in the current fiscal year.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel said that Washington has been told that New Delhi is free to pursue its energy options. He said this was conveyed during the recent meeting between the US Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and Murli Deora. Patel said, the government has not made any budget allocation for the project.

... Payvand News - 5/8/07 ...

... Payvand News - 5/8/07 ... --

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