Pakistani leader visits Iran to discuss gas deal

AP News
Posted: Feb 27, 2013 9:32 AM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday visited Tehran where he worked to finalize a gas pipeline deal with Iran that is being opposed by the United States.

The U.S. is against the project because it wants to isolate Iran economically over fears that the country might ultimately be able to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Pakistani leaders have vowed to press ahead with the pipeline despite U.S. opposition, saying it is vital for the supply of gas to the energy-starved country. Iranian media say Tehran has agreed to provide a $500 million loan to help finance construction of the pipeline on the Pakistani side.

Iran's state TV said Zardari was greeted at Tehran's Mehrabad airport by Rostam Ghasemi, oil minister in Iran.