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India, Iran To Construct Pipeline Trough Pakistan

Iran and India discussed gas pipeline project

Monday Iran and India discussed US$3 billion gas pipeline project through Pakistan.

Iran has been pursuing the pipeline proposal with India and Pakistan since 1996, but tensions over Kashmir have blocked progress. Pakistan would have access to the gas, and earn an estimated US$600 million a year in transit fees. Iran says the proposed 2,600-kilometre pipeline would save India around US$300 million a year in energy costs.

The previous Indian government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee even considered laying the pipeline under the sea to avoid Pakistani territory. However, India's new government, which took office last month, appears to have softened the country's position.

Iran?s foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi also met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and National Security Adviser J.N. Dixit.
Singh said he has an "open mind" towards Iran's proposal for a pipeline to supply natural gas to India through Pakistan, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.