India's Energy Supply and Iran

A report out of New Delhi indicates that India wants to complete a natural gas pipeline from Iran, through Pakistan that will terminate in India.  Even though a planned visit by Iran's Petroleum Minister Kazem Vaziri—Hamaneh was cancelled, the proverbial 'unnamed' senior Indian petroleum official Tuesday said that India would go ahead with the multibillion—dollar project.

This past spring, AT reported that the US had successfully countered Iran's economic maneuver to the east with a series of diplomatic, economic, and defense aid packages that would solidify an Indo—American alliance.  Washington and New Delhi also were to have cooperated on energy initiatives.

India has remained steadfast in voting for US—backed resolutions issued by the IAEA Board of Governors condemning Iran's violation of the Nuclear Non—proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Iran didn't win any friends in India when,

Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, citing India's nuclear programme as an example of international double standards.  India regretted Tehran's reference to it and alluded instead to the lack of transparency in Iran's nuclear programme.

So while continued cooperation with the US on Iran's NPT violations seems assured, it's quite possible that India's surging energy requirements cannot be met in the mid—term unless the gas pipeline project is completed, despite the promise US energy aid packages. 

Alternatively, New Delhi officials may be playing a coy game with Iran.  An invitation was sent by India to Iranian Petroleum Minister Kazem Vaziri—Hamaneh, to visit India on the 17—18 Jan.  The proposed dates have come and gone, and New Delhi has not heard anything from Iranian officials.

But all is not rosy for Iran, either.  This last September, UPI (via The Washington Times) reported that Russia's Tatneft oil production firm suspended projects in Iran because the 'unstable political situation' in the country.  The original deal was a joint production project with Iran's Mostazafan Foundation, to prospect, drill and extract oil in Iran beginning in February 2005.  As it turned out, the venture never received any contracts. 

So, Iran is undoubtedly feeling the pinch of rough economic times, and its renewed effort to push through the gas pipeline may be a sign that at least on the surface, the US and India may still hold the better hand.

Hat tip: Dr. Mohamed Ibn Guadi

Doug Hanson  01—23—05

A report out of New Delhi indicates that India wants to complete a natural gas pipeline from Iran, through Pakistan that will terminate in India.  Even though a planned visit by Iran's Petroleum Minister Kazem Vaziri—Hamaneh was cancelled, the proverbial 'unnamed' senior Indian petroleum official Tuesday said that India would go ahead with the multibillion—dollar project.

This past spring, AT reported that the US had successfully countered Iran's economic maneuver to the east with a series of diplomatic, economic, and defense aid packages that would solidify an Indo—American alliance.  Washington and New Delhi also were to have cooperated on energy initiatives.

India has remained steadfast in voting for US—backed resolutions issued by the IAEA Board of Governors condemning Iran's violation of the Nuclear Non—proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Iran didn't win any friends in India when,

Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, citing India's nuclear programme as an example of international double standards.  India regretted Tehran's reference to it and alluded instead to the lack of transparency in Iran's nuclear programme.

So while continued cooperation with the US on Iran's NPT violations seems assured, it's quite possible that India's surging energy requirements cannot be met in the mid—term unless the gas pipeline project is completed, despite the promise US energy aid packages. 

Alternatively, New Delhi officials may be playing a coy game with Iran.  An invitation was sent by India to Iranian Petroleum Minister Kazem Vaziri—Hamaneh, to visit India on the 17—18 Jan.  The proposed dates have come and gone, and New Delhi has not heard anything from Iranian officials.

But all is not rosy for Iran, either.  This last September, UPI (via The Washington Times) reported that Russia's Tatneft oil production firm suspended projects in Iran because the 'unstable political situation' in the country.  The original deal was a joint production project with Iran's Mostazafan Foundation, to prospect, drill and extract oil in Iran beginning in February 2005.  As it turned out, the venture never received any contracts. 

So, Iran is undoubtedly feeling the pinch of rough economic times, and its renewed effort to push through the gas pipeline may be a sign that at least on the surface, the US and India may still hold the better hand.

Hat tip: Dr. Mohamed Ibn Guadi

Doug Hanson  01—23—05