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Iranian President Visits Pakistan To Discuss Gas Pipeline, Diplomacy

April 23, 2024 (EIRNS)—Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on April 22 in Islamabad in their first meeting since their countries had exchanged missile strikes in February, in response to terrorists penetrating their countries and reflecting tensions between them.

A center point in their three days of meetings was to revive the Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline, conceived in 1950. In 2010 the two countries concluded a 25-year Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement. It involved the construction of a 2,775-km pipeline, linking Asaluyeh, Iran, to Multan, Pakistan. The project was put on hold in 2014—Iran built its assigned portion of the pipeline, but Pakistan did not finish its portion, largely because of U.S. opposition. Washington insisted the pipeline violated sanctions it had imposed against Tehran, falsely characterizing its nuclear program. However, Pakistan badly needs the natural gas to produce electricity.

The Sharif government now has to decide whether it will complete its portion of the pipeline. Last March, it was announced that Pakistan would ask the United States to relax the sanctions.

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