Pakistan not bound by US sanctions on Iran: Gilani

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 18:38

Islamabad: Pakistan is not bound by US
sanctions imposed on Iran and would only abide by the UN
while implementing a multi-million dollar gas deal with
Tehran, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday.

His comments came in response to criticism in some
political quarters following indications that Pakistan might
back out from the USD 7.5 billion gas pipeline deal if it
comes under the ambit of US sanctions.
"As far as the US is concerned, we are not bound to
implement (any sanctions imposed by America).

"But if the United Nations will act (against Iran), we
will examine (such a move) according to international laws,"
Gilani said while addressing a lunch he hosted for
parliamentarians.

Gilani said his remarks were aimed at clarifying media
reports based on comments he had made at Garhi Khuda Baksh
yesterday about the impact of possible US sanctions on the
over USD 7.5-billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

The premier had been quoted by the media as saying
that the country will abide by any sanctions imposed by the US
on Iran.

"If the US imposes sanctions, they will have
international implications and Pakistan, as a member of the
international community, will follow them," Gilani had been
quoted as saying yesterday.
Gilani issued the clarification after his earlier
comments were criticised by some sections of the political
leadership.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Richard Holbrooke had said on Sunday that he had warned
Islamabad against signing a deal with Tehran on the gas
pipeline as the US is preparing sanctions that could affect
the project.

Holbrooke told American reporters that Pakistan should
not "over-commit" itself to the project till the
"comprehensive" sanctions are finalised.

After Holbrooke`s comments were reported, Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that Pakistan would not
violate international law but hoped the deal, crucial to its
energy needs, would not come under the ambit of fresh
sanctions on Tehran.

He said the pipeline project should remain intact as
it is in the best interests of Pakistan.

Iran and Pakistan recently signed an export deal that
commits Tehran to selling natural gas to Islamabad from 2014.

Iran has built 907 km of the pipeline that will carry
natural gas from its South Pars field.

The pipeline was originally planned to connect Iran,
Pakistan and India, though the latter is yet to commit to the
project.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 18:38

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