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Despite US warning, Pakistan goes ahead with Iran gas deal

23 Jun 2010

Pakistan’s prime minister defied a warning from Washington, promising to go ahead with a plan to import natural gas from Iran, even now the US has announced additional sanctions against the Mideast country. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s comments Tuesday came two days after the US special envoy to Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, cautioned Pakistan not to “overcommit” itself to the deal because it could face new sanctions against Iran being finalized by Congress. The deal has been a constant source of tension between the two countries, with Pakistan arguing it is vital to its ability to cope with an energy crisis, and the US stressing it would undercut international pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. Gilani said Pakistan would reconsider the deal if it violated UN sanctions, but the country was “not bound to follow” unilateral US measures. He said media reports that quoted him as saying Pakistan would heed Holbrooke’s warning were incorrect.

The UN has levied four sets of sanctions against Iran for failing to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for a nuclear weapon. The latest set of UN sanctions was approved earlier this month. The US has also applied a number of unilateral sanctions against Iran, and Congress is finalizing a new set largely aimed at the country’s petroleum industry. Both houses have passed versions of the sanctions and are working to reconcile their differences.

Pakistan and Iran finalized the gas deal earlier this month. Under the contract, Iran will export 760 million cubic feet (21.5 million cubic meters) of gas per day to Pakistan through a new pipeline beginning in 2014. The construction of the pipeline is estimated to cost some $7 billion. While US officials have expressed opposition to the deal, Washington acknowledges that Pakistan faces a severe energy crisis and has made aid to the energy sector one if its top development priorities. Electricity shortages in Pakistan cause rolling blackouts that affect businesses and intensify suffering during the hot summer months. US opposition to the gas deal has also been tempered by Washington’s reliance on Pakistani cooperation to fight al-Qaida and Taliban militants staging attacks against NATO troops in Afghanistan.

source: The Washington Post

 
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    تهران‌ریویو مجله‌ای اینترنتی، چند رسانه‌ای و غیر انتفاعی است. هدف ما به سادگی، افزایش سطح گفتمان عمومی در مورد ایده‌ها، آرمان‌ها و وقایع جهان امروز است. این مشارکت و نوشته‌های شما مخاطبان است که کار چند رسانه‌ای ما را گسترش داده و به آن غنا و طراوت می‌بخشد. رایگان بودن این مجله اینترنتی به ما اجازه می‌دهد تا در گستره بیشتری اهداف خود را پیگیری کرده و تاثیرگذار باشیم. مهم‌تر از همه اینکه سردبیران و دست‌اندرکاران تهران‌ریویو به دور از حب و بغض‌های رایج و با نگاهی بی‌طرفانه سعی دارند به مسایل روز جهان نگاه کرده و بر روی ایده‌های ارزشمند انگشت بگذارند. تهران ریویو برای ادامه فعالیت و نشر مقالات نیازمند یاری و کمک مالی شماست.