New proposal breathes fresh life into Indo-Iran gas pipeline
A long delayed gas pipeline between India and Iran may finally be near fruition after a suggestion from Tehran that an international consortium take over the project.
"We are trying to convey that this is not a political project," visiting Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, S.M.H. Adeli, was quoted as saying by local newspapers on Friday.
"It is one based on commercial merits. The main parties here are Iran and India and no third parties," Adeli said at the end of a two day visit on Thursday.
Although in need of increased energy resources for its economic growth, India has been reluctant to give the go-ahead to the project as the proposed pipeline would run through Pakistan.
Following two days of talks, Iran seems to have assured India that Pakistan can longer hold New Delhi to ransom by "just turning off the tap." The plan outlined by Tehran envisages a foreign consortium being the link between the two countries -- buying gas from Tehran and selling it to New Delhi for a 30-year period.
The foreign consortium would also accept any responsibility for possible disruption of supplies by the transit state. The proposed pipeline would be an undersea one -- running from Asuliyeh in Iran to Jamnagar port on India's west coast.
New Delhi will conduct a feasibilty study on the deep sea option on a cost sharing basis. A mutually agreed consultant will be invited to carry out the survey which is expected to take about a year. –AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)