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‘Iran, Pakistan do not need US permission for ties’

Ali Akbar Velayati (file photo)

Ali Akbar Velayati (file photo)

A senior advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran and Pakistan do not need US permission for expanding bilateral relations.

Speaking to reporters in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Sunday, Ali Akbar Velayati noted, “Iran and Pakistan do not need US permission for expanding their ties and implementing the peace gas pipeline project.”

The Iranian official said Iran is well-aware that Pakistan is under pressure from the US for the implementation of the peace pipeline project.

“By expanding its relations with Pakistan in all fields Iran, however, will prove that US pressures have no effect on friendly ties between Tehran and Islamabad,” Velayati said.

The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost USD1.2-1.5 billion, will carry a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.

Iran has already built more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil and has offered to finance and help build the 700-kilometer tranche of the pipeline on the Pakistani side.

Rejecting reports about Iran’s interference in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan, Velayati said, “Spreading rumors in this regard is a conspiracy by the enemies.”

“The US does not want Muslim countries to unite,” he added.

Earlier on Sunday Velayati conveyed the condolences of Ayatollah Khamenei over the death of more than 100 people in a terrorist attack in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta to the Pakistani nation.

Attacks against Shia Muslims in different parts of Pakistan have escalated in recent months and hundreds of Shias have been killed in the country since the beginning of 2012.

Pakistani Shia leaders have called on Islamabad to form a judicial commission to investigate the bloodshed.

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