Pakistan, Iran blast nuclear cooperation accusation
ISLAMABAD (AFP) Aug 29, 2003
Pakistan and Iran jointly rejected accusations of nuclear cooperation as malicious propaganda on Friday.

"I reject the false report that Pakistan has been helping Iran's nuclear programme," visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi told a joint news conference with his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri that followed an hour of talks on bilateral relations and regional security issues.

Kharazi said he explained in detail during his meetings with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali that Iran's nuclear programme was totally peaceful.

"We do not have any programme for nuclear weapons. Contrary to that we believe that a nuclear free zone has to be established in Middle East and even in the subcontinent," Kharazi said.

Kasuri said Pakistan supported the right of Iran to develop its "peaceful nuclear programme, concomittant to its adherence of its obligation under the arms control and disarmament agreements that it is party to."

"Pakistan has never supplied in any manner whatsoever any assistance for Iran's nuclear programme," Kasuri said.

"These reports were part of a malicious smear campaign against Pakistan and Iran."

Iran has come under increasing international pressure over its nuclear programme, particularly from the United States, which suspects Tehran has nuclear weapons agenda.