Iran ready for IPI gas pipeline project

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Iran ready for IPI Gas pipeline project
New Delhi, Dec 20: Iran has said it was ready to undertake its part of the task regarding the setting up of the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. We expressed the readiness of our government to fulfill our part of the task. We are expecting now response from other sides - New Delhi and Pakistan," said Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran.

India and Iran had held talks on the proposed 7.4 billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project on Wednesday.

According to reports, the two sides discussed ways to break the deadlock over the project during a high-level meeting.

The Indian side was led by Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon while the Iranian side was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh.

Earlier, both sides had decided to set up a trilateral Ministerial mechanism to resolve various issues related to the project.

Under the mechanism, the Oil Ministers level meeting between India, Pakistan and Iran will take place to address different issues related to the project.

The decision, taken after a request from India to Iran, reflects India's strong willingness to go ahead with the IPI project to fulfill its energy needs.

India has been boycotting the talks over the pipeline project since August 2007 over transit fee demanded by Pakistan for passage of gas through that country.

On April 30, Ahmedinejad met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had claimed that the two sides had decided to address the issue in 45 days.

In June, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who met Oil Minister Murli Deora said that the two sides have resolved all bilateral issues.

ANI

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