Iran, Pakistan finalize contract for gas pipeline deal

Pipeline will run 2,600-kms between the two countries and should carry 150 million cubic meters of gas a day; US opposes project.

Iran and Pakistan have reached a deal to build a multi-billion-dollar pipeline to transport natural gas between the two countries, Iranian state television reported. The United States opposes the project because it fears it will weaken efforts to isolate Iran, which it accuses of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program. The pipeline is expected to run 2,600 kilometers from Iran to Pakistan and should carry 150 million cubic meters of gas a day. "The text of the Peace Pipeline contract has been finalized," state TV quoted Iran's deputy minister in charge of the project, Hojatollah Ganimifard, as saying Saturday. The contract will be formally signed next month, the TV station said. India was viewed as a potential party to the deal, but has for now stayed away from the contract. The project took considerable time to get off the ground, mainly because of Indian concerns for the safety of portions of the pipeline that will run through neighboring Pakistan.