View Full Version : Iran, Pakistan, India gas pipeline

05-02-2008, 07:51 PM
Does this mean it's a go?


For the pipeline to work, it needs all three states to recognise that their
need to move gas is more important than their obvious and deep political
divides, and part of the pipeline agreement will be clauses requiring the
pipeline to continue regardless of any political disruption to any of their

This trip of Ahmadinejad's appears to have brought the political agreement
back on track, and now the IPI pipeline looks as through it may happen. Iran
needs a long term and accessible market into which to sell its gas, and
India looks set to continue decades of record economic growth, fuelling
strong demand for energy.

These two requirements are made for each other, and Pakistan has the good
fortune to be in the middle. And this is all happening without Washington's
involvement, as Asian countries get on with their own affairs and do what
they need to do.


Make no mistake: this is one of the most important energy developments of 2008. There are four words to understand what's happening: Asian Energy Security Grid. This means Asian integration, energy integration, from the Middle East, Southwest Asia where Iran is, to South Asia—India and Pakistan—and also China, which is another part of the equation. This pipeline is a $7.6 billion project. It started in the '90s; it was thought about in the '90s. There were many, many problems, basically because of American opposition and Indian misgivings because the pipeline will traverse Baluchistan, and there is an independence-separatist movement in Baluchistan which could eventually even blow up the pipeline. But now the Indians saw that this is their best option, and the Pakistanis have assured the security of the pipeline—For Iran this is absolutely crucial. In 2008, Iran becomes a gas exporter. Although it has one of the largest gas reserves in the world, it was not exporting gas. This starts this year. And with this deal, we're talking about Asian Energy Security Grid. That means Asian integration. Iran sees this as—I quote from Iranian sources—"interdependence of Asia and Persian Gulf geo-eco-politics." So this is a very, very huge political and economic project. It's very good for Iran in terms of Asian integration. It's good for Pakistan, because Pakistan will receive transit fees. It's good for India, that will get the gas. The pipeline will be extended to Bangladesh in the near future as well. So while the Bush administration goes on with demonization of Iran, in Southwest Asia and in South Asia they are doing energy deals. This is how the world really works.