Can start selling gas to Pakistan in months: Iran
President Hassan Rouhani says Islamic Republic has completed its share of the $7bn Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his trip to Islamabad last week said his country had completed work on its side of a much-delayed pipeline pumping natural gas to Pakistan.
Rouhani also stated that Iran would be in a position to provide gas to its energy-starved neighbour in a few months, Reuters reported.
Rouhani spoke at a news conference while in Pakistan for two days of talks focussed on increasing Pakistan's electricity imports from Iran, boosting trade relations and reviving plans for a pipeline between the two countries.
"Iran has constructed this gas pipeline up to the border of Pakistan and we are ready to deliver the gas to Pakistan at our borders. We have almost completed our share," Rouhani said. "It is now up to Pakistan to initiate work on its side."
Dubbed the 'peace pipeline', the $7bn gas project has faced repeated delays since it was conceived in the 1990s to connect Iran's giant South Pars gas field to India via Pakistan.
India quit the project in 2009, citing costs and security issues, a year after it signed a nuclear deal with Washington.
The United States had opposed Pakistani and Indian involvement, saying the project could violate sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear activities.
Most of the sanctions were lifted in January in return for Iran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions.