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Funds crunch stalls Iran-Pakistan pipeline project
Sunday February 9, 2014 9:23 PM, IANS

Pakistan Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar said here Sunday that a pipeline project between Iran and Pakistan was still on hold due to financial constraints on the Iranian side.

The minister made the remarks following his meeting with officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Dubai Sunday, reported Xinhua.

Ishaq Dar said his country welcomed the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the six world powers.

On Nov 24, 2013, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (group P5+1) agreed that Iran would limit its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting of economic sanctions.

About the delayed pipeline project, the minister said the ball was in the Iranian court. "There were no financial flows for the pipeline," he said.

Tehran and Islamabad agreed in February 2013 to construct the pipeline within 22 months to transport gas from Iran to Pakistan.

Pakistan, a major importer of gas and petroleum, hopes to boost energy security for its economy which the IMF said would grow by 3.1 percent in the current fiscal year.

Dar said there were certain commitments by Iran, "but the Iranian side told me at a World Bank meeting in October 2103, that due to their own financial constraints, they were not able to provide the funds".

However, the minister said he knew that Iran's new government under President Hassan Rouhani was willing to complete the gas pipeline.

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