NEW DELHI, Dec 20: Iran has assured India it will honour its commitment to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG), India’s oil minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, said on Tuesday. Iran had signed a deal with India in June to export 5 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years from the end of 2009.

But analysts say the deal, and a proposal to build a pipeline from Iran to India, was jeopardised by India’s decision to join the United States in September and vote to refer Iran’s nuclear programme to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

“The Iranian authorities have re-affirmed that the agreement with India on LNG supply is valid and will be fully implemented on schedule,” Aiyar said in a written reply to a question from a member of parliament.

Last week, top officials from India and Pakistan said they expected construction of the $7 billion Iran-India pipeline to begin in 2007 despite US objections.

The United States accuses Iran of seeking nuclear arms, funding anti-Israeli militias and stirring militant attacks against US forces in Iraq. India started importing LNG two years ago to meet its energy needs.—Reuters

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