India now cautious in expanding relationship with Iran: CRS | world | Hindustan Times
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India now cautious in expanding relationship with Iran: CRS

world Updated: Jul 01, 2011 13:06 IST
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A series of actions by India over the last year, including not signing a deal on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, signal New Delhi's steps to join the US-led efforts "to shut Iran out of the international financial system", a Congress report says.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) in its latest report prepared for US lawmakers, many of whom had in the past voiced concerns over India-Iran ties said that steps taken in late 2010 to prevent some banking transactions with Iran, could suggest that New Delhi is now cautious about any expansion of energy or other commercial relations with Iran.

"Previously, the threat of imposition of US sanctions had not dissuaded Indian firms from taking some equity stakes in various Iranian energy projects," said the report by CRS, which is a bi-partisan research wing of the US Congress.

CRS said India was almost out of the $7 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

"India did not sign a memorandum between Iran and Pakistan finalising the deal on June 12, 2010.

"India reportedly has been concerned about the security of the pipeline, the location at which the gas would be officially transferred to India, pricing of the gas, tariffs, and the source in Iran of the gas to be sold," it said.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on several occasions had "expressed US concern" about the pipeline deal or called it "unacceptable".

Possibly contributing to India's hesitancy to move forward, US' Af-Pak envoy, the late Richard Holbrooke, during his 2010 trips to Pakistan, raised the possibility that the project could invite sanctions if it is undertaken, it said.