Tabnak – By increasing its restrictive measures against Iran’s oil exports, the US has been trying to cut the sale of Iranian oil down to zero. However, Iran is looking to expanding energy ties with the neighbors as a viable way to withstand Washington’s pressures.
In this vein, Iraq's Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb says his country brushed aside US demands that Baghdad stop gas and power imports from neighboring Iran.
Khateeb, whose remarks were quoted by Iraqi media on Monday, did not say whether the Americans had made the demand after ending waivers for exports of crude oil from Iran this month.
Washington is pressing Baghdad to source them from other countries or develop its own energy self-sufficiency. Iraqi leaders say the country cannot stop Iranian gas imports without serious electricity shortages.
In their latest back and forth, Iraq told the Americans that it needed Iran gas imports for at least three more years, Khateeb said. “Iraq now imports nearly 1,200 megawatts of electricity from Iran. It also imports gas from Iran to produce another 2,800 megawatts of electricity,” the Iraqi minister said.
“If in the next two to three years, large projects are implemented in the field of electricity generation, we can reach self-sufficiency and need no more imports,” he added.
Khateeb’s remarks come as Head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati has said recently that Iran is about to raise gas exports to neighboring Iraq to 35 million cubic meters a day this year.
“Last year we exported gas to Turkey, Baghdad and Basra with an average of over 40 million cubic meters a day, and this year, gas exports to Iraq will reach more than 35 million cubic meters per day,” he told a news conference in Tehran.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says his country is keen to complete the construction of a much-delayed pipeline designed for receiving Iran’s natural gas, weeks after he paid a visit to the neighboring state.
Local media reported on Tuesday that Khan had issued fresh directives to relevant Pakistani authorities on the completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the peace pipeline.
He has also urged Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to adopt the necessary measures and work to solve all issues with Iran pertaining to the project through mutual understanding and reconciliation.
The prime minister said Tehran and Islamabad should work jointly and review the agreed price of the gas and also complete the project. Khan further described the sanctions against Iran as the biggest hurdle for the implementation the mega project.
While Iran has completed its part of the gas pipeline project with a total investment of above $2 billion of investment, Pakistan has fallen behind the target to take delivery of gas, initially scheduled for 2014.
The joint project was launched in 2010 and aims to construct 1,800 kilometers (over 1,100 miles) of pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. Iran plans to deliver 21.5 mcm/d of gas to Pakistan through the project.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.