Resolve gas pricing issue with Pak: Iran to India

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New Delhi, Nov 8: Iran today said the seven billion Dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline would be operational soon after India resolves the pricing mechanism issue with Pakistan.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi also hoped that the LNG project with India would be finalised soon, saying it was good if India met its energy requirements from Iran.

India has already sought a bilateral meeting with Pakistan to resolve differences over transit fees that India needs to pay to Pakistan for the gas through the pipeline.

India is reportedly willing to pay about 0.60 Dollars per MMBtu as transportation and transit fee to Pakistan for the gas delivered at its border. Pakistan wants a better price. Nearly 750 KM of the 2775 KM IPI pipeline would pass through Pakistan.

The Iranian Minister who held discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee here today, said the Civilian Nuclear Agreement between India and the United States was India's internal matter and India would do whatever was best in its national interest.

On India's vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said India was only trying to take an independent foreign policy decision in line with its national interest.

The Iranian Minister is scheduled to meet Home Minister Shivraj Patil and National Security Advisor (NSA) M K Narayanan.

On the recent developments in Pakistan, he said Iran would like to see a stable country where democracy is respected.

''We understand the problems of Pakistan. But we wish that law and order and democracy returned (to Pakistan) as soon as posssible in the interest of the region,'' he said in response to a question.

He also called for security cooperation between India and Iran saying the two countries should talks about it.

On his country's nuclear tiff with the international community, the Iranian Interior Minister reaffirmed that it was a peaceful nuclear programme saying Iran is a signatory to the NPT and followed all international rules and obligations.

''Why should the US object to it,'' he asked and questioned the imposition of sanctions against Iran.

He decried the US 'unilateralism' on the issue, saying India also did not agree with this unilateralism.

He called for strengthening overall relations between India and Iran.


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