Iran can decide own nuclear direction: Karzai

Afghan Prez has said he supported Iran's right to nuclear energy but was against N-weapons.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 19:19 IST

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he supported Iran's right to nuclear energy but was against nuclear weapons, although sovereign countries could decide "the directions they want to go."

Afghanistan would, for example, benefit greatly from nuclear power, Karzai said in an address to the Pakistan National Defence College on the second day of a state visit.

"I am against any weapons, especially against nuclear weapons...," he said when asked about the impact of Iran's nuclear programme on regional politics.

"I think we all have a right for peaceful nuclear energy," he added. "But nations have their sovereign right to choose the directions they want to go. That's not for us to decide."

Iran on Thursday repeated its insistence that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon but has the right to produce civilian nuclear power. The only Muslim nation in the world known to have nuclear weapons capability is Pakistan.

"I, as an Afghan, would like Afghanistan to have a lot of electricity, a lot of power," Karzai said. "If we had it through nuclear energy in Afghanistan, we will be short-cutting a long distance."

"With regards to other nations, I hope they will do what is right for them and also what is right for the rest of the world as humanity," said the president, who is due to visit Iran in the coming weeks after cancelling a trip earlier in 2006.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 10:24 IST