CHENNAI - The United States was opposed to a gas pipeline from Iran to India due to a law, which prohibits Teheran's economic expansion, unless it stops its support to terrorists, Teresita Schaffer, former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, said here.
The US "concerns' on the pipeline had no direct link with Iran's nuclear programme, she said, giving a talk on `Security in India's neighbourhood: the view from Washington', organised by the Observer Research Foundation and The Department of Politics & Public Administration, University of Madras.
The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) disallows any move that would aid Iran's economic expansion as the country was a "safe haven for terrorists", Schaffer said, adding that she personally felt that US should not interfere in the pipeline through Pakistan, as it would be a tremendous boost for building the India-Pakistan peace process.
"Personally speaking, I don't think the US should oppose the pipeline from Iran, as the pipeline to India through Pakistan would be a constituency of peace between New Delhi and Islamabad," Schaffer, who is now director, South Asia Program, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, said.
India, which is scouting around the world for oil and gas to meet its growing energy needs, has tied-up imports of 7.5 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) per annum from Iran from 2010 and is negotiating imports of natural gas through an onland pipeline passing through Pakistan.