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Pak likely to sign gas deal in June

The oil ministers of Iran and Pak had said that the 3 countries were near final agreement on the project.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2006 15:04 IST

Pakistan, India and Iran are likely to sign their $7 billion gas pipeline deal in June, in defiance of US pressure, Pakistan's oil minister said on Sunday.

The oil ministers of Iran and Pakistan had said on Saturday that the three countries were very near final agreement on the project to pump Iranian gas through Pakistan to India.

"Most probably it will be signed in June," Amanullah Khan Jadoon said.

When asked about US opposition to the plan, he said: "That's the (Pakistan) president's problem. I'm the energy minister. I must take care of energy needs."

The plan to pump Iranian gas to India through Pakistan was first proposed more than a decade ago, but progress has been slow because of hostility between India and Pakistan and, more recently, US opposition to Iran because of its nuclear programme.