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Iran approves Russian participation in gas pipeline project


TEHERAN, December 11 (RIA Novosti) - Iran agrees to Russia's participation in a transnational project to build a pipeline transporting Iranian natural gas to Pakistan and India, a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said Sunday. Hamid Reza Asefi said, "Russia is a powerful state with advanced technologies. We agree to Russia's participation in the project to construct the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline." He expressed his hope that India and Pakistan would not object to Russia's involvement in the project. In late November 2005, Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said that Russia was interested taking part in the pipeline construction, and that Russian energy giant Gazprom was prepared to take on a share of the project risk.

The estimated cost of the 2,500 kilometer (1550 mile) pipeline is $4.5 billion.

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