The U.S. government has threatened sanctions against Pakistan if that nation completes a pipeline bringing natural gas from Iran. The Iranian section has been completed, and the schedule calls for Pakistan’s section to be completed by the end of 2014.
Notice that Pakistan shares a border with China. The pipeline could be extended to give China direct access to Iran’s natural gas. China is already Iran’s largest oil and gas customer and an opponent of U.S.-led economic sanctions against Iran.
Iran’s newly-elected President Hassan Ruhani has offered to make peace with the United States. The U.S. government has said this is contingent on Iran abandoning its nuclear research program, which are for the stated purpose of deterring Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
I think the Obama administration should take Ruhani up on his offer, rather than doubling down on sanctions. The only way the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation will ever be solved for good is a comprehensive nuclear disarmament program and strong international inspections system. Any country whose government feels threatened by a nuclear power will want its own nuclear weapons as a deterrent.
Click on Washington Threatens Pakistan With Sanctions if It Continues with Iran Pipeline for background from OilPrice.com. Hat tip to naked capitalism.
Click on Pipelineistan and the New Silk Road(s) by Pepe Escobar in Asia Times for the broader picture of the geopolitics of oil and gas pipelines in the heartland of Eurasia.
Click on Iran ready to talk if US shows ‘good will’, says new president for a report in The Guardian.
I should add a caution, to myself as well as to readers, that just because there is a map showing a proposed pipeline route doesn’t necessarily mean that the pipeline actually will be built. Murphy’s Law applies, in this as in other things.