The external affairs ministry on Friday stressed that energy security was of prime concern to the Centre and the India-Pakistan Iran pipeline was an important part of its plans.
This followed remarks by US officials making it clear that that they disapproved of any such project.
“We have no comments to make on what the US official has said. But energy security is of prime concern to the government, and the India-Pakistan-Iran pipeline has to be seen in this context. We are in discussions for thrashing out the two issues. One is pricing of the gas, the other is the security of the pipeline that pass through Pakistan,” a ministry official said.
India indicated during the 12th International Energy Forum in Cancun, which ended on Thursday, that it wanted to resume talks with Iran on the long-delayed $7.5-billion
(Rs 3,375 crore) Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project.
The US is currently pursuing additional sanctions against the Iranian regime in the UN Security Council.
Replying to a question from HT, Robert O. Blake, the State Department’s assistant secretary for south and central Asian affairs, said, “This is a sensitive time in negotiations with Iran and we would prefer all countries not conduct such transactions with Iran at this time.”
In New York, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said “they (the US) are still not very clear on this” issue.