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Iran-India gas pipeline project oncourse: Deora

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 2: Petroleum Minister Murli Deora today said that the proposed seven billion dollar natural gas project connecting India from Iran via Pakistan is on course and denied any pressure from the United States to quit the project.

After a meeting with Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Had Nejad-Hosseinian, Mr Deora said that the US is not pressurising India and added ''I don't think America can pressurise us".

Iran had earlier said that it will press ahead with the pipeline -- with Pakistan -- if India drops out.

Mr Deora said "We are very serious on this issue and its not me but the Prime Minister, who made the statement that the pipeline is for peace and progress of the region".

The plan to move Iranian gas to India through Pakistan was first proposed more than a decade ago. The progress however was slow due to hostility between India and Pakistan compounded by the US opposition to Iran's alleged nuclear programme.

Earlier speaking at Doha, after talks with his Iranian and Indian counterparts on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Doha, Pakistan's oil minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon had said that only technical issues remained.

The pipeline project through Pakistan would link Iran's abundant gas reserves which is the world's second biggest to India and would carry 150 million cubic meters per day of gas for 25 years.

UNI

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