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India may back out of Iran pipeline project

India says that the project is not likely to work due US opposition.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 16:44 IST

The Petroleum Ministry has said that India is unlikely to participate in building of the 7-billion dollar gas pipeline project from Iran via Pakistan and instead may prefer buying gas at its border.

The Ministry is likely to approach the Cabinet for a final decision.

It was suggested that New Delhi should enter into an agreement with Iran only for purchase of gas at its border. Tehran would have to court Islamabad for safe passage of the pipeline, uninterrupted supplies and delivery of gas at Indian border.

The Ministry feels that setting up of an international group,comprising state firms of the three countries and global energy majors, is not likely to work due to political and legal opposition from the US, including the threat of invoking sanctions under ILSA.

The project would, therefore, have to be executed separately by the three countries in their own territories to protect the project from US sanctions.

First Published: Jan 13, 2006 14:45 IST