90 per cent work on IPI pipeline complete within Iran: Envoy

Iran said 90 per cent work on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline was complete within its territory and it was open for having trade arrangements with any country in the energy sector.

Last Updated: Feb 08, 2011, 17:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Iran on Tuesday said 90 per cent work
on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline was complete within
its territory and it was open for having trade arrangements
with any country in the energy sector.

Addressing a press conference here, Iran`s Ambassador to
India Seyed Mahdi Nabizadeh said work was also in progress on
the Pakistani side and it was ready to start 50 per cent of
the total 60 mcm capacity once the pipeline was in place.

"We have allocated 50 per cent capacity to Pakistan and
any other country, including India, can join and get the
balance 50 per cent of the gas," he said speaking through an
interperter.
Nabizadeh maintained that the project should not be
looked at purely from the economic perspective but as an
initiative that would strengthen cultural ties in the region
and have a positive impact for the three countries.

On the issue of Euro payments for crude purchases, he
said Iran was open to have bilateral mechanism like it has
with South Korea and China if the current arrangement routed
through a German bank was not successful.
Nabizadeh said Iran and India could cooperate to
stabilise the situation in Afghanistan. He stressed on
regional countries taking lead in normalising situation in
Afghanistan contending that "other outside countries" will
de-stabilise the region.

He said India and Iran were also discussing taking up
joint development projects in Afghanistan and cited
cooperation in building the Zaranj-Delaram highway as a case
in the point.

Nabizadeh also extended support to the protesters
demanding the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
saying that the people will object to any government that
doest not respect their aspirations.

"If any government does not respect the aspirations of
its people, it will face opposition," he said.

"Some believe that the uprising in Egypt is because of
economic reasons but we feel that it has to do with the values
of the people which the Egyptian government has been
ignoring," he said.

On the Muslim Brotherhood, he said it was one of the
oldest Islamic organisations in Egypt which had opposed the
government in Cairo for its relationship with Israel.

On nuclear energy, Nabizadeh said Iran had the right to
peaceful uses of nuclear energy and its atomic programme was
being carried out under the watchful eyes of the global atomic
watchdog IAEA.

He also said Iran was making rapid strides in the field
of space sciences and hoped to send a man in space in the next
ten years.

PTI