Tehran: Iran and India are “determined” to sign a contract to build a natural-gas pipeline via Pakistan by 30 June after Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora stressed the need to conclude talks in Tehran, according to an Iranian official.
The desire to sign the agreement on the $7.4 billion project demonstrates “the two countries’ political will to implement the contract as quickly as possible,” Hojatollah Ghanimifard told Shana, the press agency of the Islamic republic’s Oil Ministry, today.
The pipeline, which is yet to receive clear pledges of funding, has been in the planning stage for more than a decade. The US wants India to shun the project to isolate Iran, which it says is trying to make nuclear weapons.
Deora said last month that India can’t be pressured into backing out of the project and held talks in Tehran 26 April with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Iranian counterpart, Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh.