Gas pipeline tangle to be sorted out soon: Iran minister

March 6th, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 6(IANS) The frozen Indo-Iranian peace pipeline project is likely to see a thaw in the next three months as the US presidential elections will ring in a regime change and also usher in the dawn of multilateralism in the world, says a visiting Iranian minister. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister For Economic Affairs Mohsen Talei, who is leading a 25-member trade delegation to India, elaborated on the consensual optimistic opinion harboured by Iranian political observers and said: “In the US presidential election, the regime is going to change and the new regime will be fostering multilaterism.

“In the next two to three months, the age of uncertainty brought about by the so-called unilateralism will finally disappear in oblivion and no single major country will play at least overtly hegemonistic role in other regions,” he told reporters here Wednesday evening.

“As for the Indo-Iran gas pipeline, also known as ‘peace pipeline’, we feel that once multilateralism dawns, the three countries, India, Pakistan and Iran, will immediately want to see what benefits them in the long run.”

The minister added that the pipeline would certainly bring benefits to all three countries.

He added that the time had come for the Asian community, particularly India, China, Pakistan and Iran to set up their goals for the prosperity of Asian nations.

Vice minister and president of the Iran Trade Promotion Organisation, Mehdi Ghazanfari, said the decks had been cleared and a tripartite agreement to sort out the technicalities would take place in two to three months.

“From our side the green signal is already there; India and Pakistan have to now sort out the technicalities.”

The proposed pipeline, as per projections, would deliver five million tonnes of LNG (liquefied natural gas) annually to India directly from Iran via Pakistan, helping meet the country’s energy demands.

“Once the ball starts rolling, for which the Indian side will have to take the initiative, then the Indian subcontinent will get LNG’s supply for a period of 25 years, from next year. It would also usher in the dawn of an era of peace as far as Pakistan, India and Iran are concerned,” Talei said.

The Iranian delegation aims to explore key business sectors like science and technology, agriculture, tourism, narcotics control, environment protection, posts and telecommunications, information technology, power and energy for joint ventures.

It is particularly interested in areas like infrastructure and railways.

The visit comes close on the heels of a high level Indian delegation visiting Iran.

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