Reuters: India will not be pressured into cancelling its plans to buy natural gas from Iran through a pipeline, Oil Minister Murli Deora said on Saturday. MUMBAI (Reuters) – India will not be pressured into cancelling its plans to buy natural gas from Iran through a pipeline, Oil Minister Murli Deora said on Saturday.
India and its neighbour Pakistan are in talks with Iran to buy gas to be supplied through a proposed $7 billion cross-country pipeline, a deal opposed by the United States.
“I don’t think India can be pressurised by any group or any country,” Deora said at a news conference.
“This (the negotiation) is at a very initial stage and unfortunately some people are trying to bring politics in that … whether it will go ahead or not,” he said.
On Thursday U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, during a three-day visit to India, expressed Washington’s displeasure with India’s decision to buy gas from Iran saying it would help fund Tehran’s development of nuclear weapons.
The United States and its allies say Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, and major world powers agreed last week on new U.N. sanctions for the Islamic nation because of its atomic programme.
Tehran has resisted global pressure to suspend uranium enrichment work, which can be used for bomb making as well as peaceful purposes, saying its programme is solely for peaceful electricity.