Iran and Pakistan held a ceremony at their borders to mark the Pakistani phase of a gas pipeline that would carry gas from the Persian Gulf to Pakistan’s stretched energy sector. Originally India was a partner in the project, but withdrew.
The US quickly denounced the deal between the two countries as a violation of the sanctions in place against Iran and threatened to impose sanctions on its ally Pakistan.
“We have serious concerns if this project actually goes forward that the Iran Sanctions Act would be triggered,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, commenting on the so-called ‘peace pipeline.’ RT News
The pipeline may be more than it seems. Undoubtedly, if it is completed, natural gas will supply much of Pakistan’s energy needs. But if land disputes with India in the north involving Kashmir can be peacefully settled, then further pipelines could be pushed through to the People’s Republic of China, allowing China a secure land based energy source for its billions.
With tighter, more friendly relationships among Iran, Pakistan and China the influence of the US in the area would wane. Pakistan has increasingly withdrawn from friendly relations with the US over their unauthorized military action in killing Osama bin Laden and the continuing drone strikes which have killed numerous non-combatants.
The US influence and threats to impose sanctions are nothing to sneeze at. In the eight year period from 2002 to 2010 that country channeled at least $20.7 billion in funding for military and food aid.
On the other hand the government in Islamabad may be posturing to show that it is not under the thrall of a foreign government or it may be a way to pressure the US to speed up its commitment to help create the electrical energy that it has promised in the past.
The one, sure thing is politics in the region are very complex.