— Photo by PPI

KARACHI: Iran vowed on Saturday to go ahead with the gas pipeline project likely to be finalised with Pakistan despite pressure, mainly from the United States.

“We know that there is some pressure from outside world, especially from the United States, but both countries are determined to continue strategic cooperation,” Ali Akbar Velayeti, an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, told reporters after visiting the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

“In future we will take more steps, mainly in the energy sector, because for the time being only a limited amount of electricity is being transferred to Pakistan from Iran.”

He hinted that bilateral cooperation would be strengthened in more areas which would benefit the entire region.

Mr Velayeti said Iran and Pakistan could play key role in strengthening relations among all Muslim states.

“Strategic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan is not only for mutual benefit but also in the interest of the region and the world,” he remarked.

“Bilateral relations between our two countries are expected to get a further boost after the signing of the gas pipeline project,” he added.

The federal cabinet recently ratified the $1.5 billion government-to-government deal with Iran for laying the 785km Pakistan segment of the pipeline to deliver 750 million cubic feet of natural gas per day of Iranian gas by the end of next year.

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