US Warns Pakistan On Energy Project With Iran

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Context

Pakistan is committed to Iran Pipeline project and wants expeditious implementation. The decision was passed at the meeting of the Pakistan-Iran bilateral talks between its Finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and visiting Iranian International Affairs Vice President Ali Saeedlou on Tuesday.

The minister and the Iranian counterpart have expressed commitment to complete the pending work at the earliest possible. According to Pakistan’s Petroleum Secretary Ijaz Chaudhry, both sides reviewed the progress and will expect the completion of the project by 2014.

However, the project has drawn strong reaction from Washington. Media reports indicate a senior US diplomat has stated that any attempt to go ahead will be construed as furthering Iran’s nuclear program. The US has warned Pakistan of serious trouble if it does not abandon the venture. He said any country; bank or financial institution that works with Iran will have to face the sanctions.

Pakistan and Iran are also discussing ways to enhance bilateral trade through banking cooperation and currency exchange.