China likely to replace India in Iran-Pak gas pipeline project
Tehran, Feb.6 (ANI): Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said that China is keen to join the Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline Project.
Mottaki said the work on the gas pipeline project, which initially included India, and was known as the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, would start soon, and Beijing is likely to join the project.
Talking to a Pakistani media delegation here, Mottaki blamed the US for sabotaging the pipeline and said that India's growing relations between America should not affect its relations with other countries of the region.
He said Islamabad should not hesitate to start the project despite the US pressure.
"We must not allow any third country to interfere in the bilateral relations of Iran and Pakistan," The News quoted Mottaki, as saying.
India had not proceeded with the 2,775 km trilateral pipeline on issues pertaining to security and hefty transit fee asked by Pakistan.
While some Indian officials also cited 'security' and 'non viability' of the proposed pipeline as the main reason for parting away from the project, it is believed that New Delhi pulled out from the project under Washington's pressure.
The IPI project was conceived in 1995 and after almost 13 years India finally decided to quit the project in 2008. (ANI)