Workers and supervisors are seen at the site of the gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File
Workers and supervisors are seen at the site of the gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File
  • US warns of sanctions in doing business with Iran.
  • Pakistan decided to seek waiver from Us on project.
  • Washington also condemns attack on Chinese nationals. 

WASHINGTON: The United States said that it does not support Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, warning of potential sanctions for Islamabad for doing business with Tehran, The News reported Wednesday. 

“We always advise everyone that doing business with Iran runs the risk of touching upon and coming in contact with our sanctions, and would advise everyone to consider that very carefully,” said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. 

When asked about Assistant Secretary Donald Lu’s comments saying that the US was not in favour of Pakistan starting work on the pipeline with Iran, Miller said: “We do not support this pipeline going forward.”

The State Department’s statement comes after Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik said that Pakistan has decided to approach US to seek a waiver on the gas pipeline project. 

“Pakistan will vigorously present its case and will try to seek exemption from US sanctions by presenting technical and political arguments,” he said on Monday. 

Malik said the country will start construction on the gas pipeline project soon.

The project has been facing delays since 2014. In January, Iran issued a third notice to Pakistan, renewing its intention to move the arbitration court for not laying the pipeline as part of the IP gas line project.

Pakistan maintained that it could not materialise the project in its territory because of the US sanctions imposed on Iran, a view which authorities in Tehran have never subscribed, saying the US sanctions are not justified. 

Moreover, Iran had already completed the laying of a 900-kilometre pipeline. The project agreement was signed in 2009 and was to be completed in 2015.

‘US condemns attack on Chinese nationals’ 

Meanwhile, Miller said that the US condemns the attack on a convoy of PRC engineers in Pakistan. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained, and share our heartfelt condolences with those affected by the attack,” he added.

“The Pakistani people have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists, and I’ll note that PRC nationals in Pakistan have also been the victims of terrorist attacks, and no country should suffer the acts of terror. And I don’t have anything beyond that,” the spokesperson said.

A day earlier, a woman among the five Chinese citizens and a Pakistani driver were killed when their vehicle was attacked in Shangla’s Besham city as a suicide bomber crashed his explosives-laden vehicle into the car carrying the victims.

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