Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, shake hands after unveiling a plaque during a ceremony marking the start of the final construction phase of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project on March 11, 2013.
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned against foreign powers’ plots to sow discord and conflict among regional nations, stressing the importance of promoting cooperation and convergence in the region.
“It has become obvious to all that foreign hands seek to [cause] dissention and conflict among regional nations to dominate them and plunder the rights of these nations,” Ahmadinejad said during the inaugural ceremony of the final construction phase of the multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project on Monday.
He described as “very important” the gas project between Tehran and Islamabad, adding that it indicated the firm determination of regional nations to strengthen their amicable bonds.
The Iranian chief executive emphasized that the IP pipeline project shows the two countries’ determination to meet bilateral needs and "become needless of others and those who seek to humiliate and dominate nations."
Ahmadinejad said the construction of the gas project was a “big decision” and proposed extension of the pipeline to other Eastern countries as a connecting artery.
The Iranian president further rejected any link between the IP project and Iran’s nuclear issue and noted that those who oppose the Iranian nation’ development are using the nuclear issue as a pretext to impede the country’s progress and to impose sanctions on it.
The pipeline has nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear issue because “natural gas cannot be used to build an atomic bomb,” but certain powers opposed it and created obstacles in the way of its construction, Ahmadinejad noted.
The Iranian president and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, on Monday officially inaugurated the final construction phase of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project despite US attempts to block the project.
The United States has threatened Pakistan with stringent US and UN sanctions if it goes through the IP gas pipeline project.
On March 2, Zardari downplayed US threats and emphasized that his government would continue to pursue the construction of the gas pipeline, reiterating that Islamabad would not stop the project at any cost.
Pakistan faces a crushing energy crisis, which has caused difficulties in financing the pipeline whose tranche on Pakistan soil stretches from the border between the two countries to Nawabshah region.