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Clinton warns Islamabad on Iranian gas

March 1, 2012 by  

WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) — Pakistan is reminded there will be consequences if it moves forward with a natural gas pipeline from Iran, the U.S. secretary of state said.

Pakistan is coping with a natural gas shortage by pursuing two pipeline options. The United States supports an option from Turkmenistan that would travel through Afghanistan, while Iran has pressed for its version since its inception in the 1990s.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee there would be consequences if Pakistan went ahead with the Iranian option.

“We have been very clear in pointing out the consequences of building this pipeline,” she said at the hearing.

Pakistan has moved closer to the Iranian project despite U.S. objections. Pakistani authorities suggested land surveys were under way for their part of the pipeline.

The Turkmenistan pipeline has the support of the Asian Development Bank though security and pricing issues continue to overshadow developments.

U.S. State Department officials had said the Iranian natural gas pipeline was “a bad idea.”

A budget request from the State Department included funds to help Pakistan cope with its energy crisis.

Spencer Cameron

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