India seeks cooperation of Iran in oil and gas sector

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New Delhi, Oct 1(ANI): Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna on Thursday said that India is interested in co-operation with Iran in the oil and gas sector issues.

"Well India's economy is growing very rapidly and India needs energy and lots of energy. India is interested in cooperation with Iran in oil and gas sector. Issues of pricing, security and financial guarantees have been areas of discussions with respect to the pipeline," Krishna told ANI in an exclusive interview.

"Bilateral cooperation in this sector will be further discussed in the joint working group on oil and gas likely to be convened this year and perhaps when that takes place I think we might find some answers to this, a very important issue," he added.

The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, also known as the IPI pipeline or the Peace pipeline, is a proposed 2,775-kilometre pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India.

India has not officially pulled out from pipeline talks after rounds of discussions, but has quitted talks following tensions with Pakistan.

Indian officials have cited security and on viability of the proposed pipeline as the main reason for parting from the project.

Earlier, Iranian Ambassador to India Seyed Mehdi Nabizedeh invited India to rejoin the pipeline project, but emphasized that offer is not for the "unlimited period".

Appreciating India security concerns over the pipeline, Nabizedeh said that India could still join the project.

The Iranian envoy also emphasized that India and Iran could extend cooperation in Afghanistan, and hailed India-Iran teamwork in building Zeranj Delaram road in Afghanistan. He also asked India to follow independent foreign policy.

The IPI project was conceived in 1995 and after almost 13 years India finally decided to quit the project in 2008. (ANI)

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