As Iran faces crippling sanctions and U.S. and other Western powers negotiate in Geneva with Tehran over its nuclear program, a planned controversial pipeline that will carry natural gas to Pakistan has run into major financing issues, The Indian Express reported Monday.
In response to Pakistan’s oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s comments that he wants Iran to front $2 billion to complete the pipeline project, Iran's deputy oil minister, Ali Majedi, said Pakistan is the one who needs to finance the pipeline
"We did not make such a commitment to help Pakistan with $2 billion for the construction of the pipeline," Majedi said, quoted by Fars news agency.
The $7.5 billion project launched in 2010 has encountered several problems as well as being eyed by the U.S. for potential sanctions.
If completed, the project would aim to export 21 million cubic meters of gas per day to Pakistan, which will help Pakistan’s gas and electric shortages.
Some investors and government officials are reluctant to get involved with the project because of the threat of breaching international sanctions against Iran.
Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zangeneh, said that he had no hope for the deal to go through because of the financial problems.