China to Build Pipeline From Iran to Pakistan – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China will build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to Pakistan to help address Pakistan’s acute energy shortage, under a deal to be signed during the Chinese president’s visit to Islamabad this month, Pakistani officials said. As the WSJ’s Saeed Shah reports:

The arrival of President Xi Jinping is expected to showcase China’s commitment to infrastructure development in ally Pakistan, at a time when few other countries are willing to make major investments in cash-strapped, terrorism-plagued, Pakistan.

The pipeline would amount to an early benefit for both Pakistan and Iran from the framework agreement reached earlier this month between Tehran and the U.S. and other world powers to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The U.S. had previously threatened Pakistan with sanctions if it went ahead with the project.

Dubbed the “Peace Pipeline,” the project will further bolster improving ties between Pakistan and Iran, which had been uneasy neighbors for decades as a result of Pakistan’s ties to Iran’s long-term adversaries, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

“We’re building it,” Pakistani Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told The Wall Street Journal, referring to the pipeline. “The process has started.”

The pipeline will bring much-needed gas to Pakistan, which suffers from a crippling electricity deficit because of a shortage of fuel for its power-generation plants. Pakistan has been negotiating for months behind the scenes for China to build the Pakistani portion of the pipeline, which will cost up to $2 billion.

via China to Build Pipeline From Iran to Pakistan – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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