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Tuesday May 28, 2024

US says it doesn’t back Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project going forward

The Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, known as the Peace Pipeline

By Wajid Ali Syed
March 27, 2024
Workers and supervisors are seen at the site of the gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File
Workers and supervisors are seen at the site of the gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: The US said on Tuesday it does not support a Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project from going forward and cautioned about the risk of sanctions in doing business with Tehran.

The Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, known as the Peace Pipeline, is a long-term project between Tehran and Islamabad, and has faced delays and funding challenges for several years. The pipeline would transport natural gas from Iran to neighboring Pakistan.

Iran and Pakistan had signed a five-year trade plan in August 2023 and set a bilateral trade target at $5 billion.

Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik said this week that his country was seeking a U.S. sanctions waiver for the gas pipeline from Iran.

“We always advise everyone that doing business with Iran runs the risk of touching upon and coming in contact with our sanctions, and would advise everyone to consider that very carefully,” a US State Department spokesperson told reporters in a press briefing.

“We do not support this pipeline going forward,” the spokesperson added, saying that Donald Lu, the State Department’s top official for South and Central Asia, had said as much to a congressional panel last week.