US threatens Pak with sanctions over Iran gas pipeline deal

US threatens Pak with sanctions over Iran gas pipeline deal

The US raised the pipeline project during the fourth round of a dialogue on energy with Pakistan that concluded in Islamabad yesterday without any major tangible gains, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted unnamed officials as saying.

The officials said US Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs, Ambassador Carlos Pascual, "advised" Islamabad to abandon its plans to import gas from Iran.

He proposed instead that Pakistan should pursue the TAPI gas pipeline with Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and India.

A US Embassy spokesperson confirmed that the US is concerned with Pakistan's plans regarding the pipeline project from Iran and that the issue was raised in Ambassador Pascual's meetings.

"The proposed Pakistan-Iran pipeline, if built, could raise concerns under the Iran Sanctions Act. We are encouraging Pakistan to seek alternatives," said the US Embassy spokesperson.

Asked about reported US opposition to the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project at a weekly news briefing yesterday, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said the project was in Pakistan's interest as the country is facing an energy crisis.

"Therefore, it is the decision of the government of Pakistan to continue this cooperative project with Iran to ensure that energy is provided to the people as required," she said.

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