Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2014
Published in Category: International

No change in position on Iran-Pak gas pipeline: US

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WASHINGTON: The US has said that there is no change in its position regarding Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, to which it was earlier opposed to, in the view of the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries.

“It’s my understanding there’s no change in position,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told reporters at her daily news conference.

As a result of the agreement between Iran and P5+1 countries – the US, UK, Russia, China, and France plus Germany – the US has relaxed a number of sanctions on Iran, including the one which does not require countries like India to reduce import of oil from Iran to avoid American sanctions. “Obviously, even the limited relief that Iran would get under the Joint Plan of Action, if they fulfil their commitments, maintains the core architecture of oil, banking, and financial sanctions in place,” Harf said.

Harf said the first step of the agreement goes into effect on January 20th.

“On the 20th, the IAEA will report on the current status of Iran’s nuclear program, including specifically on its uranium enrichment program and the Arak reactor. So regardless of what they do between now and then, on the 20th, they will halt production of 20 per cent enriched uranium,” he said.

“They’ll disable the centrifuge cascade configurations they’ve been using to produce it. They will start to dilute half of the 20 per cent enriched uranium, and continue to convert the rest to oxide form not suitable for further enrichment,” Harf said. “By the end of the six months, they’ll have completed a dilution of 20 per cent enriched uranium and ? or conversion to oxide by the end of the six months.

“So regardless of what they do between now and then, by the end of the six months, if they fulfil their commitments, they will have completed the dilution or conversion of their stockpile of 20 per cent enriched uranium,” the spokesperson said.

The Joint Action Plan, she said, have laid out very specifically what Iran can and can’t do. “We have always said that if the Iranians, when they say they only want a peaceful nuclear program, that they can prove it. That’s part of what this process is about,” she said.

“If they fulfil their commitments under the Joint Plan of Action, that’s certainly a step in the right direction, a credible, concrete, tangible step. But words aren’t enough, given the history here,” she added.

“That’s why we need to see actions. That’s why it’s so important that on January 20th, we are going to see Iran take concrete, tangible actions that could eventually, through very difficult diplomacy, lead to a comprehensive agreement,” Harf said.
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