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Pakistan, Iran to finalize gas pipeline accord by Jan 25

Islamabad, Jan 6, IRNA - Pakistan and Iran are set to finalize an agreement on the multi-billion gas pipeline project by January 25 this year, the Iranian ambassador to Islamabad Mashallah Shakeri has said.

The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project is one of the most important economic projects of the region, which would bring extensive benefits for the three countries, the envoy told a monthly magazine 'Liberty'.

He said that the project does not merely carry the economic importance but its social and security achievements are also noteworthy.

He described the measures taken by Pakistan and Iran as indicative their firm will for the execution of the project.

He was of the view that Iran had started the executive works of the project by devising the pipeline from its gas resources up to the Pakistani borders.

He expressed hope that India too will join this project and the project will be pursued by the three parties.

Answering a question about Iranian concerns over the political unrest in Pakistan, he said that the strategy of Iran is to encourage development and security in Pakistan.

"Iran wants a peaceful, developed, independent and stable Pakistan and it would leave no stone unturned to extend every essential assistance the its brotherly neighboring country," he said.

He was fully confident that the ongoing political crises in Pakistan will be resolved soon through the insight of the authorities and expressed optimism the country will soon be put on the track of progress and prosperity.

Turning to Pakistan-Iran economic ties, the Iranian diplomat said that the two countries are focusing to expand their bilateral economic and commercial relations.

He said that both countries have boosted their bilateral and enhanced their target of commercial exchanges to the level of dlrs one billion a year.

He was optimistic that trade between the two countries which presently stands at about us dlrs 650 million will soon reach the level of one billion US dollars.

Shakeri said that Iran has pursued the trend of confidence building with the international community based on the process of multi lateralism in respect of the peaceful nuclear programme.

He said Iran has exercised full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other parties by going even beyond its lawful and legal undertakings.

He said Iran will continue the process of constructive dialogue, confidence building and transparency unabated the process which has been welcomed by the international community.

He said the report of US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) worth consideration from different dimensions.

"US acknowledging civilian nature of Iranian nuclear program is the most significant part of the report."

... Payvand News - 01/06/08 ... --

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