India and Iran to revise liquefied natural gas deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Friday asserted that the June 2005 liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with India would be revised, and Tehran would "very soon" begin exports.

Taking questions after an address at the Indian Council of World Affairs here, Mr. Mottaki said he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday. He would discuss it with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora also.

The two sides would soon "establish a formula" to finalise pricing. "I think we will get the formula," Mr. Mottaki maintained, welcoming Indian investments in Iran.

Forward movement

His comments signal the first forward movement since September 2005 on the LNG deal after India voted against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Tehran at that time said the $21-billion, five million tonne LNG a year agreement was off.

(A senior Indian official confirmed that New Delhi was now willing to re-negotiate the LNG deal. Earlier, India's position was that the deal, as it stood, should be implemented by Iran).

Asked about the mention of Iran in an American law to facilitate civilian nuclear cooperation with New Delhi, Mr. Mottaki said India was a great country with thousands of years of history, and had a lot to say and teach people in world affairs.

"End of unilateralism"

According to him, the time of unilateralism was over; the time of using force was over. In a reference to the United States, he said, "The language of threats does not work any more."

In his speech, Mr. Mottaki said India was a "good customer" and Tehran was ready to raise India's share of oil imports. "The Iran[-Pakistan]-India gas pipeline project will become feasible if backed by a strong decision of all parties. I do hope that our discussions on the pipeline will become more conclusive.

"Besides, we welcome investment by India's oil companies in Iranian oil and gas sectors. Iran's immense gas deposits have proved attractive to many gas buyers, and our gas is now exported to some countries by pipeline."

Limited fossil fuels

Referring to the fact that "fossil fuels were limited," Mr. Mottaki said, "All countries will eventually find themselves in dire need of nuclear energy." As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran wanted to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

"Developing the knowledge for peaceful use of nuclear technology is an inalienable right of all countries in accordance with relevant international treaties and regimes. ... Iran is not going to forgo this internationally recognised right, which has been reaffirmed by 116 countries, including the friendly country of India at the recent [Havana] meeting of NAM [the Non-Aligned Movement]."

Cooperating with IAEA

Iran was closely cooperating with the IAEA and its inspections teams, while respecting international laws and regulations. "Hence, there is no reason for us to yield to the illogical demands made and the double standards applied by certain powers."

The construction of nuclear power plants was in line with Iran's economic interests. It had no intention other than pursuing its national interest by relying on the expertise of its researchers.

Iran always championed a nuclear-free West Asia. "We believe that not only a nuclear free Middle East but also a nuclear-free world will benefit the entire humanity," Mr. Mottaki maintained.

In an effort to promote regional integration, Iran first sought observer status in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and later full membership.

Source: The Hindu, New Delhi
                        Petronet LNG Stock Quotes                                    
©Petronet LNG Limited                                                            Home | Contact Us | Disclaimer | Quick Links | Mail Server |