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Zardari Defends Pipeline With Iran

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has defended his government's decision to partner with Iran to build a gas pipeline.

Speaking to journalists in Lahore on March 2, Zardari said constructing the pipeline was in the national interest, as was a decision to award China a contract to operate the Gwadar Port.

Zardari's comments come after the Pakistani leader visited Tehran earlier in the week to finalize the long-awaited deal with Iran.

The United States is against the project because it wants to isolate Iran economically over fears the country might be able to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge.

Pakistani leaders have vowed to press ahead with the pipeline despite U.S. opposition, saying the deal is vital to supplying gas to the energy-starved country.