A senior Iranian lawmaker rejected the claim that Tehran has exempted Pakistan from fines for Islamabad’s delay in the completion of a long-awaited joint gas pipeline project, saying that parliament’s Energy Committee will study the issue.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Amir Abbas Soltani, who is a member of the parliament’s Energy Committee, said the parliament would defend the Iranian nation’s rights.
“As far as I know the remarks made by the Pakistan Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources about Iran’s agreement to Pakistani exemption from fines are not true,” Soltani said.
“There has been no agreement in this regard,” Soltani added.
The Iranian MP also said the parliament’s Energy Committee is to hold a meeting with Oil Ministry officials on Tuesday and discuss the issue.
Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement for the construction of the gas pipeline in 1995. According to the deal, if either party does not fulfill its obligation to complete the pipeline on its side by the end of 2014, it will have to pay a daily penalty of $3 million to the other side until the completion of the project.
The IP pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.
The final construction phase of the IP pipeline was inaugurated on March 11, 2013. Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.
Pakistan, however, has fallen short of constructing the 700-kilometer part of the pipeline on its territory.