Iran General NewsU.S.-India nuke deal may hurt Iran ties

U.S.-India nuke deal may hurt Iran ties


UPI: India’s nuclear deal with the United States might force it to alter some facets of its close relations with Iran. United Press International

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) — India’s nuclear deal with the United States might force it to alter some facets of its close relations with Iran.

Prime among the targets could be the $7.4 billion, 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan. Washington opposes the deal because it fears international agreements with Iran will only embolden the country to acquire nuclear weapons.

The United States may be able to wield some influence over the deal’s future as Congress needs to approve the U.S. civilian nuclear deal with India. The nuclear deal would give India U.S. know-how for the first time in decades.

Non-proliferation advocates say the deal would seriously hurt the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of global non-proliferation efforts for decades. India possesses nuclear weapons and has refused to sign the NPT, which it sees as discriminatory.

The deal still requires congressional approval where India’s ties with Iran, especially the IPI pipeline, may be questioned.

U.S. Ambassador to India David Mulford said he hoped Congress would approve the deal quickly but noted ties between India and Iran would be “carefully reviewed and scrutinized by members of the Congress as they approach the final vote.”

The IPI pipeline would supply some 90 million cubic meters of Iranian gas to India and 60 million cubic meters to Pakistan every day. Talks have been stalled because of two factors: the price of Iranian gas and transit fees that India must pay to Pakistan.

The future of the IPI pipeline is also uncertain because it may be hard to secure funding because of the countries the pipeline would traverse. Washington has said it backs a pipeline that supplies Turkmen gas to South Asia.

Krishnadev Calamur, UPI Energy Correspondent

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