Iran and Pakistan have been on ever-changing terms, with several factors shaping the nature of their relationship; the prime being issues relating to sects. Pakistan being a Sunni majority and Iran being a Shia majority. Much can be dictated by the sectarian factor however, these days everyone is getting along just fine. Iran touches the south-western end of Pakistan at the province of Baluchistan and much trade has taken place between the two countries. Pakistan’s trade with Iran was approximately $1.3 billion during the financial year 2008-9, but that value took a serious hit during the 2013-14 financial year with trade worth only $217 million. This significant drop came in light of several sanctions imposed on Iran by United States, United Nations and the European Union. These sanctions were of course aiming to halt Iran’s nuclear program. However, a deal has been reached whereby any and all sanctions on Iran will be lifted. Iran’s nuclear deal’s impact on Pakistan will edge towards a positive side, based on the relationship between the two countries prior to sanctions and the trade ideas in the pipeline.
Pakistan has been under a major energy crises for as long as one can remember, and currently, Iran is exporting 100MW of electricity to certain adjoining areas of Pakistan. After the deal is signed, which of course depends on President Obama attaining enough votes, Pakistan will essentially be importing 1,000MW of electricity from Iran. Pakistan is already in the final stages of finalizing a deal with Iran that will allow them to do so. It is further reported that this particular deal will also include a transmission line, the details of which are yet unknown.
A gas pipeline extending from Iran through Pakistan and onto New Delhi was is also under works. Again, progress on that has been slow because of the sanctions and other political issue. The proposed gas pipeline is to begin from Asaluyeh in Iran, extending on to Karachi, Khuzdar, Sui and Multan, and from there it will head across the border to New Delhi.
For all it is worth, Iran will be keeping a healthy relationship with Pakistan. It’s a situation of mutual benefits. Iran is interested in Pakistani textile, sports goods, surgical goods and agricultural products. While Pakistan is interested in energy, steel and iron. According to the trade deals that will soon be signed between Pakistan and Iran, Pakistan will be required to set up industrial sites within the border area where Iran touches Pakistan. These industrial sites will include several buildings including petrochemical storage. This impoverished area will then be linked with the $46 billion mega-project called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Of course, Iran stands to gain with access to this corridor. It is all for the best.
As far as President Obama and his collection of votes goes, according to various reports, the President is nearing victory and perhaps needs only one vote to provide the deal a solid footing. Let’s hope for the best here and see what happens.
What do you think of Iran’s nuclear deal’s impact on Pakistan? If you have any ideas regarding the direction the relationship between the two countries will take after the sanctions are lifted do let us know.
Update: President Obama has secured enough votes to sustain nuclear deal with Iran.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.