TEHRAN  – Iranian and Pakistani officials in a meeting conferred on the latest developments in economic relations between the two countries, especially in the field of energy.

During the meeting, Minister of Oil and Natural Resources Asim Hussain and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi discussed a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project that is due to take Iran’s rich gas reserves to the energy-hungry Pakistan.

Hussaid said that the construction of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline will benefit both countries, and stressed the necessity of completing the pipeline project as soon as possible.

The Pakistani official arrived in Iran on Saturday to discuss the financing of IP gas pipeline project with Iranian officials.

Hussain said on September 4 that the gas pipeline project would become fully operational in 2014, adding that, “Surveys for the project are due to be completed before October 2012 and construction can start as early as December 2012”.

The Iranian foreign minister, for his part, reiterated the importance of continuing talks between Iranian and Pakistani officials regarding bilateral ties.

The Pakistani government has on many occasions reiterated its resolve to push ahead with the $1.5 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.

According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran’s Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.

A special team has been set up in the Iranian oil ministry to specify the method of investment and credit line for the pipeline on Pakistan’s soil.