Mussharaf govt. pushed Iran to abandon nuke-weapons programme: Secret US cables

   Jan 21, 4:06 pm

Islamabad, Jan 21 (ANI): Former Pakistan President Pervez Mussharaf's government pushed Iran to abandon their nuclear-weapons programme to stop another Muslim country from achieving that status, secret American cables have revealed.

Confidential American cables obtained through WikiLeaks reveal that in a series of meetings with senior Iranian officials, Musharraf, the them Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri took a hard line against any Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear-weapons capability.

Pakistani officials also served as interlocutors between Iran and the US, reporting to the Americans on these meetings and relaying messages between the two countries, The Dawn reports.

Reports suggest that at least seven such meetings or phone calls took place with the Iranians and 11 with the Americans in 2006 alone.

A May 2006 cable about Musharraf's meeting with Iranian First Vice President Parviz Davoodi suggested that "according to Kasuri, Musharraf told the visitors that Iran should stop all efforts to enrich uranium now, adding that Tehran was making life difficult for its neighbour, Pakistan".ater that year, Kasuri told the Americans that over the past three years, he had "made it his mission to persuade Tehran not to provoke a conflict over Iran's nuclear program thus endangering regional - and Pakistan's domestic - security".

In an April 2006 meeting with US Senator Chuck Hagel, Kasuri reportedly provided a list of other reasons why Pakistan was so keen to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

'"We are the only Muslim country with such weapons, and we don't want anyone else to get it,'" he said.

Kasuri was also worried that because Pakistan was "a perceived US 'stooge' ", an American attack on Iran would "embarrass Pakistan in the Muslim world", possibly lead to Iran "destabilising" the country and "inflame sectarian tensions" at home. (ANI)

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