17 May 2007 - 13:24
  • News Code: 104886

WASHINGTON -- India should secure its energy needs through a "deal" with the US on nuclear power rather than opting for natural gas pipelines from Iran that goes through unstable parts of the world, a senior US Democratic lawmaker has said, dubbing any such deal in the region as an "investment in terror".

"Investing in terror is not good business. It is not secure. There is no assurance that those pipelines passing through Iran, which could have a revolution at any time, and Baluchistan... both areas in which the pipeline project could be hurt by various Baluchi elements that could have grievances against Iran and Islamabad," said Congressman Brad Sherma, Democrat from California.


"That looks like a very bad investment," he said.


Sherman is one of the lawmakers in the US House of Representatives, who has moved legislation against Iran called the Iran sanctions Enabling Act of 2007 that seeks to apply pressure on Tehran by publishing a list of entities that invest in Iran and then allowing for divestment.


A similar Bill has been moved in the Senate by Democratic Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.


"The other way to go for India"s energy security is to have a deal with the US that helps the development of nuclear power in India.


"I would hope that our assistance to India will provide electricity in a way that is not dependent on oil and gas prices which are rising through the roof and are not dependent on the insecurity of the pipelines going through Central Iran, Baluchistan and Pakistan. So that"s a better way for India," he said. The Chair of the House Sub Committee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade argued that the overall message being sent through the new Iran Legislation is to place additional pressure on the regime in Tehran through divestments and in the message not to invest especially in the Iranian oil sector until the regime there stops its nuclear weapons programme.


"In foreign policy, obviously, we are seeking assurances from India that Indian companies would not be making major investments in Iran"s oil sector, particularly in any natural gas pipelines," he added.



News Code 104886

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