MIDDLE EAST: Iran, Pakistan to sign "peace pipeline" Jan. 25

Iran's ambassador to Pakistan said Jan. 25 is the date the two sides will sign the so-called peace pipeline, a multibillion-dollar project to send Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.

Mashallah Shakeri said Sunday the "gas pipeline project is one of the most important economic projects in the region," Pakistan's Daily Times reports.

The official name of the project is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, but India has backed out in recent months because of a dispute over transit fees with Pakistan.

The IPI pipeline "will bring extensive benefits for the three countries," Shakeri added.

Iran holds the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia. But the project is considered a security risk because of the geopolitical upheaval in some of the areas it is to run, from Iran through Pakistan to India. India, as well, is believed to be pressured by the United States as part of the latter's rift with Tehran over its nuclear program.

Via: United Press International | By BEN LANDO

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