Iran doesn't need nuclear weapons: Pak FM

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Washington, Oct 19 (ANI): Pakistan has said Iran has no justification for pursuing nuclear weapons, and that it should embrace overtures from the United States.

Strongly criticizing Iran's controversial nuclear program, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he wanted to avoid "another major crisis in the region."

"In my view, I don't think they have a justification to go nuclear," the Dawn quoted Qureshi, as saying.

While asserting that Pakistan accepts Iran's "right to civilian use of technology," the minister stated, "Who's threatening Iran? I don't see any immediate threat to Iran."

Qureshi revealed he had also shared his views with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, and told him to seize on US President Barack Obama's stated willingness to engage in a dialogue to mend the fraught US-Iranian ties.

"This administration has been extending the olive branch, make use of it.Engage the world," Qureshi added, referring to his advice to Mottaki.

He further said that Pakistan faced a threat from India, making its case different from that of Iran. Pakistan became the Islamic world's only nuclear weapons state in 1998, days after India carried out similar atomic tests.

Qureshi also pointed out that Iran was signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Pakistan and India had never signed.

"They have an international obligation. They have signed NPT and they should respect that," he said.

Pakistan has a friendly but complicated relationship with Iran's Shia clerical regime, as the Balochistan province stretching between the two nations is rife with insurgency and sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias. (ANI)

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