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'Iran will share gas with Muslim brothers'

Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said his country is ready to share its massive gas reserves with "Muslim brotherly countries, including Pakistan".

india Updated: Feb 06, 2007 15:23 IST

Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said his country is ready to share its massive gas reserves with "Muslim brotherly countries, including Pakistan" during his talks with visiting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

He called for strengthening of ties between Iran and Pakistan keeping in view the abundant cultural, historical and religious commonalties shared by the two countries.

Receiving Musharraf during his one-day visit here Monday, Khamenei said given the growing importance of energy in the world, Iran is ready to share its massive gas reserves with Pakistan, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.

"Iran is also rich in gas and we are ready to allow Muslim brotherly countries, including Pakistan, to benefit from Iran's reserves and facilities," IRNA quoted Khamenei as saying while referring to the project for laying a pipeline to transfer gas from Iran to India via Pakistan.

He also insisted on unity and solidarity among the Muslim nations. Khamenei was critical of the US and Britain for their support to Israel, which he felt, has allowed the Jewish state to 'oppress' Palestine.

"Any plan on the Middle East will be successful only when it prevents US bullying and puts an end to Zionists' crimes," he said.

In the meeting that was attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Musharraf said his visit aimed to consolidate bilateral relations, survey issues of the region and the Islamic world.

Expressing happiness over the price coding for Iran's natural gas, Musharraf hoped that the process for laying the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline - called the Peace Pipeline Project - would begin soon.

Musharraf later left Tehran for Ankara, Turkey. Musharraf came to Iran following his earlier tour of the Middle East, which had taken him to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the UAE, with an aim of finding a solution to the Middle East crisis.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmoud Kasuri accompanied Musharraf on the trip.