IPI pipeline deal in jeopardy after Mumbai attack?
Not many analysts have focused on how the Mumbai attacks will affect the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline. The pipline which is estimated to cost $7.6 billion, 1600 miles long and to transfer 60 million cubic meters of natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India daily is said to be an important deal which could secure long term relations between the three countries in the future.
According to The Economic Times “just before the terror attacks in Mumbai, petroleum minister Murli Deora had said the ministry was trying to settle issues relating to transportation tariff, transit fee, delivery point of gas to India and price of gas with Pakistan and Iran. But these prospects have diminished after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai”.
The Heritage Foundation ran a story on the 9/12/2008 about the Mumbai attacks and USA and Indians’ need to work closer together and also their concern for India’s alliance with Iran:
Washington, for its part, remains concerned about Indian ties to Iran, despite Iranian sponsorship of international terrorism and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. (…)
As the United States and India seek to build a stronger partnership and take full advantage of the diplomatic opening created by the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal, one of the areas with the greatest potential benefit to both sides is counter terrorism cooperation. The multiple terrorist attacks in Mumbai between November 26 and November 29, 2008, that killed about 170 people, including six Americans, have highlighted the urgent need for these two countries to work together more closely to counter regional and global terrorist threats.
Whether USA has an indirect hand in creating tensions between India and Pakistan is difficult to say but it would not be surprising considering the superpowers track record in foreign policies and securing it’s interests abroad.