Addressing the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations in Washington DC, Secretary Clinton was adamant and firm on the U.S decision to oppose the prospects of an Iran-pakistan gas pipeline, supporting instead a more viable alternative pipeline through Turkmenistan that would also allow the U.S to avoid business with Iran.
Pakistan however, is firm on its commitment to move ahead with the pipeline, the Iranian construction of which is complete. Pakistan is severely crippled by its energy crisis and needs desperate assistance. Col- laborating with a neighbor, according to government officials, is much better rather than going through a third party; an ally that could potentially sabotage the project.
Clinton towed America’s hard line at a Congressional hearing stating that Pakistan’s “shaky economy” would have to face severe consequences if the country built the pipeline and violated the Iran Sanctions Act. She claimed that the bulk of financial assistance was diverted to the military and the nuclear program rather than be focused on education, healthcare and electricity. Defending the U.S aid program, she said that the U.S was willing to work with Pakistan but it did have firewalls up.
The Pakistani side has been mute on the subject and has previously faced heated criticism from the U.S regarding a possible alliance with Iran. However, it remains adamant and committed to this particular project.