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Pakistan to seek US waivers for gas pipeline from Iran

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The US said on Tuesday 26 March, 2024, 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.

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

Pakistan plans to ask the US to relax possible sanctions around a natural gas pipeline project from neighbouring Iran.

The government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is planning to give the US administration “political and technical” reasons to secure waivers, Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik told reporters.

The pipeline project “cannot bear the burden of sanctions,” he said.

Pakistan has for decades sought to access natural gas from Iran, which has struggled to build up an export industry despite holding the world’s largest reserves of the fuel because of United Nations sanctions on Tehran and restrictions on dollar-denominated transactions. The two nations signed a 25 year supply deal in 2010 but the pipeline has been held up, leading Iran to threaten legal action.

The south Asian nation will soon start building an 80 km (50 mile) link from the Iranian border to the port of Gwadar, which was approved by the caretaker government last month, Malik said. A draft of the request is ready to submit to the US, The News newspaper reported citing the minister.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s administration will uphold all sanctions related to Iran, Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu said last week in a congressional hearing. The administration has sought to help Pakistan source non-Iranian natural gas to address the nation’s energy deficiency, said Lu.



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