Islamabad, April 30:

A proposed gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India will not be affected if the UN imposes sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme, an Iranian minister said today.

“I don’t think anybody could put sanctions on the oil industry and gas industry,” deputy oil minister Mohammad-Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian told a press conference in Islamabad after three days of talks on the project.

“Due to the sensitivity of the oil market any action like that will increase oil prices very high and I believe that the UN and any other body will not put any sanctions on oil or the oil industry,” Nejad-Hosseinian said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday confirmed that Iran had not complied with a UN Security Council demand to freeze uranium enrichment, which can be used to make the explosive core of nuclear bombs. The US and European powers are now poised to seek a Security Council resolution legally obliging it to meet IAEA and Council demands.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is a peaceful effort to generate electricity and therefore legal. The pipeline is estimated to cost more than seven billion dollars.