US warns Pak of damaging consequences on Iran gas deal

Hillary made it clear that as the US was ratcheting up pressure on Iran, it seems somewhat inexplicable that Pak would be trying to negotiate a pipeline.

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2012, 11:40 AM IST

Washington: The US on Thursday warned Pakistan
of "damaging consequences" if it went ahead with the ambitious
Iran-Pak gas pipeline, which would be against the global
sanctions against Iran.

"We believe that actually beginning the construction of
such a pipeline either as an Iranian project or as a joint
project would violate our Iran sanctions law," Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton told lawmakers at a Congressional
hearing.

"So, you know, we all know what the consequences of that
are, and it would be particularly damaging to Pakistan because
their economy is already quite shaky," she said.

The top diplomat said the additional pressure on Pakistan
that "the United States would be compelled to apply would
further undermine their economic status".

The Secretary of State was responding to a question from
Congressman Jerry Lewis on US response to Pakistan`s
insistence that it would go ahead with the Iran gas pipeline
project.

She made it clear that as the US was "ratcheting up
pressure on Iran, it seems somewhat inexplicable that Pakistan
would be trying to negotiate a pipeline."

Hillary said the US recognizes that Pakistan has
significant energy requirements, and for the last three years
Washington has been working to help them upgrade their
existing energy infrastructure, to look at potential new
sources of energy.

PTI

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