Pakistan says it's pushing ahead with a planned pipeline to import natural gas from neighboring Iran, a project that is opposed by the U.S.

Tuesday's statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Pakistani and Iranian oil officials decided during a meeting Monday in Tehran to fast track the project.

The pipeline will link Iranian gas fields to energy-starved Pakistan. Gas is supposed to start flowing by the end of 2014, but the project has been beset by repeated delays.

The U.S. opposes the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, supporting instead an alternative pipeline proposal that would run from the gas fields of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Also, if Pakistan goes ahead with the pipeline, it could trigger U.S. and international sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.