Pakistan not bound to follow U.S. on Iran gas line: PM

18:51, June 22, 2010      

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Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Tuesday made it clear that his country is not bound to follow the U.S. laws regarding restrictions on Iran.

Speaking at a gathering of parliamentarians, Gilani said that Pakistan will follow international laws in regard to gas pipeline with Iran and not that of the United States.

The U.S. special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke Sunday warned Pakistan against the multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline intended to bring the much-needed natural gas to the energy-starved country.

Gilani said that if the United Nations imposed restrictions on Iran then Pakistan as a member of the UN will respect those curbs.

Pakistan and Iran formally struck a 7.5 billion dollar gas pipeline deal in Tehran on June 13 under which the Islamic republic will supply Pakistan with natural gas from mid-2014.

On Saturday, the U.S. envoy did not object at the Iran gas line when a reporter asked him about the project in his joint press conference with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

But on the second day, Holbrooke took a u-turn on the issue and said, "We warn Pakistan to wait for upcoming U.S. law against Iran. " He said the U.S. senate is working on a law which could affect the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

The U.S. has always opposed the Iran gas pipeline with Pakistan and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake urged Pakistan to reconsider its deal with Iran in April.

The pipeline was initially mooted to carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and on to India. India withdrew from negotiations last year after signing a nuclear deal with the United States, but has kept open the option of rejoining the project at a later stage.

Iran will export more than 21 million cubic meters of natural gas each day, according to the deal.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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