Construction of the so-called Peace Pipeline, which may be extended to India, will begin next year, Iranian state television reported, citing negotiations in Islamabad. The link will be able to export 30 million cubic meters of gas a day to Pakistan, the channel said.
If India joins the project, the pipeline would be longer than 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles). The project has been delayed more than a decade because of political and security concerns as Pakistan fights Taliban militants in its northwest. The U.S. wants the South Asian nation to abandon the pipeline to isolate Iran, which it says is building nuclear weapons.
Iran, which has the world’s second-largest natural-gas reserves after Russia, is in talks with Pakistan and India to export gas through the pipeline from its South Pars field, which extends from Qatar’s North Field to form the largest known gas deposit in the world. Tensions between India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, have delayed the project.
Pakistan and Iran have said they will go ahead with the project even if India doesn’t participate.