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US urged Zardari to reject Iranís oil offer: WikiLeaks

24 May, 2011

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KARACHI: A secret diplomatic cable has revealed that the US forced Pakistan to reject Iranís concessional oil offer.

According to the cable, President Asif Ali Zardari was urged by a US official not to agree to Iranís concessional oil offer as it would be providing Iran with a foothold in Pakistan.

The cable filed on October 22, 2008 by former US ambassador Anne Patterson revealed that Zardari told US Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher that Iranís proposal was an offer he could not refuse but Boucher reminded him of the Deputy Secretaryís caution of not allowing Iran to gain presence in Pakistan.

The meeting between the two officials took place at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on October 18 where the president expressed reluctance upon Boucherís request to turn down Iranís offer. He was concerned that how could he go to the National Assembly and tell them Iran had offered the assistance and Pakistan has refused it.

In another cable filed on May 26, 2009, a Congress delegation also met President Zardari and reminded him of the US caution but the President said that Pakistan is desperately seeking new energy resources to fulfill its need but no other country is ready to help except Saudia Arabia.

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