The US has threatened Islamabad with sanctions over Pakistan’s partnership with Iran on the construction of PAK-IRAN gas pipeline. Washington said that the project violates sanctions on Iran, a claim denied by Pakistan.
“We have serious concerns if this project actually goes forward that the Iran Sanctions Act would be triggered,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, commenting on the ‘peace pipeline.’
Iran and Pakistan expect the completed pipeline will deliver 21.5 million cubic meters (760,000 million cubic feet) of gas per day by December 2014.
Iranian contractors will construct the pipeline, which crosses Pakistani territory.
After Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari launched the project on Monday on the Iran-Pakistan Border, the US threatened to respond with sanctions if the project starts
Iran has completed the construction of the pipeline’s segment on its side of the border with Pakistan. Monday’s ceremony marked the beginning of work on the Pakistani segment, which will start at the Iranian town of Chahbahar near the border.
Initiated in 1990s, the project initially involved Iran, Pakistan and India. However, India pulled out of the project in 2009, The United States has opposed Pakistani and Indian involvement in the project, insisting it would violate sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear activity in the past.