Washington: The United States is "encouraging" India and Pakistan to not conduct transactions like their gas pipeline with Iran at a time when it`s engaged in sensitive negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme.
The US "has encouraged our friends in the government of Pakistan to try to seek alternatives," Assistant Secretary of State For South And Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake told reporters on Thursday in a briefing about his recent trip to India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Asked if the issue of Pakistan signing a contract with Iran about a gas pipeline had come up for discussion in Islamabad, Blake said he had told Pakistanis that "people have been talking about this pipeline for a long time, but I think there continue to be many challenges, and to actually building the pipeline."
"So nonetheless we have encouraged our friends in the government of Pakistan to try to seek alternatives," Blake said noting, "Our concerns about the government of Iran are very well known."
"And given its current unwillingness to address its international obligations and international concerns about its nuclear programme, we don`t think that this is the time for such transactions to be taking place with Iran."
Same goes for India, he said when asked to comment on India planning to resume talks with Tehran on the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline after three years.
"This is a very sensitive time in negotiations with Iran, and we would prefer that all countries not conduct such transactions with Iran at this time, for the reasons that I already outlined," Blake added.