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India Seeks Talks With Iran Over Stalled Gas Deal

The Indian government is calling for meetings with officials in Tehran over a stalled plan for Iran to sell natural gas to India.

A much delayed $7.5-billion transnational pipeline is intended to carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and then on to India.

India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jitin Prasada told parliament Tuesday that the project is not sidelined, but that the three nations involved are discussing technical issues related to it.

Prasada says talks will continue until "assurances" are reached on issues such as gas prices, transit fees and other delivery issues.

The Indian minister says his government is speaking with other nations and not relying on Iran alone.

Earlier this year, Pakistan signed a deal with Iran to construct a pipeline from Iran's South Fars gas field to Baluchistan and Sindh provinces in southern Pakistan.

If that pipeline is eventually extended to India, Pakistan would be allowed to charge a fee for trans-shipment of gas across its territory, but the amount of the fee has not yet been determined.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.