Talks on Iran gas pipeline in October
KOCHI: Tri-lateral talks between India, Iran and Pakistan are likely this October on the proposed project to pipe Iranian gas to South Asia, said Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minster Mani Shankar Aiyar on Sunday.
Pioneer News Service quoted Aiyar as saying that the project’s roadmap had been laid and bilateral discussions were progressing successfully. He said the project’s information had been collected and would be presented to the government, and then taken at the tri-lateral level.
Aiyar said the United States had not addressed the issue formally with the Indian government. He said the gas pipeline never figured in the discussions between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush. He added that he had met several US representatives in the recent past but there has been no official comment on this issue.
The United States is concerned about the project because of its opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme.
India’s demand for gas is enormous and the country barely produces half of its registered demand, said Aiyar, adding that current production of natural gas was 85 million cubic metres per day according to the Petroleum Ministry. nni