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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan opposed to taking Iran issue to UNSC: ambassador

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 26, IRNA
Pakistan on Thursday opposed the United States-led bid to take the Iran nuclear issue to the United Nations Security Council and advocated settlement of the issue through negotiations.

In an interview with IRNA here, Pakistan's Ambassador (designate) to Iran Shafqat Saeed said that his country was opposed to the issue making its way to the UN Security Council.

In light of international conventions, resolutions and the law creating the International Atomic Energy Agency, he maintained Tehran had the right to continue its peaceful nuclear programs.

"The three European countries and the IAEA should continue their negotiations to resolve the issue instead of taking it to the Security Council," he contended.

However, he made it clear that Pakistan was against the nuclear arms race in the international arena.

The envoy was hopeful that with his new responsibility in Tehran relations between Iran and Pakistan would get a boost, particularly in the economic and trade spheres.

"I will try my utmost to fruther strengthen the deep-rooted Pakistan-Iran relations."
On the countries' current level of economic relations, he pointed out that presently Pak-Iran trade stood at USD 400 million, in which USD 250 was Iran's share while Pakistan's contribution in terms of exports and imports was USD 150 million.

Shafqat Saeed said that both countries had huge manufacturing infrastructures and were blessed with natural resources and this could be the firm foundation for enhancing bilateral cooperation in the economic field.

To a question about the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, the envoy said that the three countries had detailed meetings bilaterally and would meet in Tehran next month to possibly ink an accord.

The ambassador was confident that construction of the
multi-billion pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan would start next year.

The project is aimed at helping India and Pakistan meet their growing energy needs.

Pakistan could get USD 600 annually in transit fees while India would also save USD 300 annually in gas price.

Asked about security on the Iran-Pakistan border, he said that security forces on Pakistan's southwestern and the eastern (Pak-India) border were active in dealing with unwanted elements.

He revaled that the upcoming visit of Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao to Tehran would further help make the task of the forces more effective and productive in dealing with smugglers.

To a question, the envoy expressed his happiness over his appointment as ambassador to Tehran.

"I had volunteered for the assignment to the Islamic Republic and I have love for the Islamic Revolution," he smilingly remarked.

Shafqat Saeed has over two decades of experience working in the region and has a keen interest in regional history and politics.


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