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Pakistan to complete Iran gas pipeline project

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March 7, 2013 10:56 AM EST | AP


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says the government will complete a gas pipeline from neighboring Iran despite U.S. opposition to the project.

Ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan said Thursday that President Asif Ali Zardari will travel to Tehran on Monday for the project's groundbreaking ceremony.

Khan said the pipeline is in Pakistan's interest and that Islamabad will go ahead with it.

Washington opposes the project because it wants to isolate Iran economically to pressure Tehran over its dispute nuclear program, which the U.S. suspects is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Pakistan faces acute energy shortages and the pipeline would deliver natural gas from Iran to energy-starved Pakistan by 2014.