Nuclear deal with US no hurdle for importing Iranian gas: Pranab

Pranab MukherjeeTehran, Nov 3: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said in Tehran that India's nuclear deal with the United States will in no way adversely impact a project to import Iranian gas via Pakistan.

"There will be no impact of Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement on Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline,” said Mukherjee to a joint press conference in Tehran along with Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Shamsuddin Hoseyni.

“India''s requirement of energy is quite substantial and we are to locate various sources including civil nuclear cooperation with countries like USA, France, Russia or any other country that is willing to cooperate with India in civil nuclear cooperation,” said Mukherjee.

“Another important source is Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. One is not exclusive to the other," added Mukherjee.

Analysts say India has been treading cautiously over the 7.6 billion dollars pipeline project because it wants to reduce the risk of supplies being cut during times of tension with Pakistan.

Mukherjee has since returned to New Delhi after concluding a two-day visit to Tehran.

Earlier, Iran said it would press ahead with the long-standing project even if India did not join in.

The United States is trying to isolate Iran over its disputed nuclear plans and has been urging other countries and companies not to do business with it.

Washington accuses Iran of seeking to build atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Iran, the world's fourth biggest oil producer with the second biggest gas reserves, says it wants nuclear energy so it can save its oil and gas for export. (ANI)

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