Iran doesn't need nuclear weapons: Qureshi

Published: October 19, 2010
FM Qureshi said that he wanted to avoid "another major crisis in the region." PHOTO: REUTERS

FM Qureshi said that he wanted to avoid "another major crisis in the region." PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: The foreign minister of Pakistan said Monday that Iran had no justification to pursue nuclear weapons and urged the neighbouring country to embrace overtures from the United States.

In some of Pakistan’s strongest statements on Iran’s controversial nuclear program, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he wanted to avoid “another major crisis in the region.”

“In my view, I don’t think they have a justification to go nuclear,” Qureshi said at Harvard University.

“Who’s threatening Iran? I don’t see any immediate threat to Iran,” he said, while adding that Pakistan accepted Iran’s “right to civilian use of technology.”

Qureshi said he has 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 dialogue to mend decades of fraught US-Iranian ties.

“This administration has been extending the olive branch – make use of it. Engage the world,” Qureshi said.

Pakistan has a friendly but complicated relationship with Iran’s government. Pakistan and Iran in June signed a deal that commits Tehran to selling natural gas from a pipeline.

The United States has warned against the project as it steps up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said at the time that Islamabad would implement UN resolutions on Iran but not unilateral US restrictions.

Qureshi said that Pakistan faces a threat from India, making its case different than Iran’s. Pakistan became the Islamic world’s only nuclear weapons state in 1998, days after its historic rival carried out similar atomic tests. Qureshi also pointed out that Iran was signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Pakistan and India never signed.

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

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Yousaf
    Oct 19, 2010 - 1:06PM

    not his tongue…Recommend

  • AA
    Oct 19, 2010 - 1:18PM

    Qureshi Sahib…who asked you to comment on Iran’s nuclear issue? People have already realized that your statements usually doesnt match with the ground realities..
    Stop reading the script faxed from washington….Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Oct 19, 2010 - 1:34PM

    If Israel can have nuclear weapons, then Iran damn sure should have nuclear weapons, and they don’t need no justification. Stop barking standing in your masters house and support your Muslim neighbours for once…
    Shameful, utterly shameful.

    These people should be hanged for selling our country like this.Recommend

  • samina
    Oct 19, 2010 - 2:02PM

    well if Mr Qureahi cannot see beyond his own nose it does not mean that Iran is so vain that it cannot see the treats.
    they are intelligent people Recommend

  • A Suhail
    Oct 19, 2010 - 2:05PM

    Thank you Mr Foreign Minister for making a sensible comment about Iran’s nuclear ambition. We should deter them from going towards the path of war which will for sure engulf Pakistan too. Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons as with a highly educated populace. great industry and infrastructure they can match Dubai’s growth in few years. It only require their government to ease on the rhetoric and open up the country. Recommend

  • ADE
    Oct 19, 2010 - 2:47PM

    Yea sure Mr Qureshi….Iran should also become a slave like what you have turned your country into. Sorry, not gonna happen….I am happy to see that Iran has the guts which our nation of 180 million can’t produce…Recommend

  • Anoop
    Oct 19, 2010 - 10:01PM

    Pakistan has a right to be worried. Its 3 out of 4 neighbours.will be nuclear powers. India enjoys Pakistan as a buffer against extremely volatile and violent Afghanistan and crazy(but stable) Iran.

    In future if some sunni extremists succeed in attacking Iran and hide in Baluchistan, then Iran will hesitate to give a very strong reply. Pakistan has the nukes but it a burden on its economy and image. Iran has Oil and Gas to make up for that. Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Oct 19, 2010 - 10:09PM

    The foreign minister is a very intelligent person and is blessed with a great foresight. Not only Iran but the entire Islamic world will soon fall in line as per his wishes …Recommend

  • Oct 19, 2010 - 10:48PM

    Why don’t Pakistanis stop becoming so emotional and actually use the minds that god gave us all? Let us think for a moment about what would happen if Iran was attacked by the US. We would be negatively affected to a great extent. We already have disturbances on our North-Western and Eastern Borders. Why would we want another? Iranian Nuclear Weapons are not in the national interest of Pakistan no matter how you perceive it.Recommend

  • hammer
    Oct 20, 2010 - 5:36AM

    Practise What you preach. If Iran shouldn’t have nuclear weapon then you should not carry a Begging BowlRecommend

  • A Suhail
    Oct 20, 2010 - 1:01PM

    I am gona go out on a limb and concur with Anoop over here. A nuclear Iran is dangerous to Pakistan in so many ways. Since 1979 Iran has been fanning sectarian trouble in Pakistan not to forget Saudi’s role. Iran has been helping all the anti Pakistan forces in Afghanistan for the last 20 years and in 1999 they almost attacked the Taliban government and threatened Pakistan to mend their ways or they will teach us a lesson. In 2004 while Iran was accused of developing nuclear bomb they threw Pakistan under the bus and told the world that it was Pakistan which gave them the nuclear know how, way to go with islamic ummah concept. In 2000 ran signed a deal with India where India got access to Bandar Abbas port. Indian ships can refuel there and India move its products to Afghanistan from there. While Iran has every right to engage with India as they wish, what bothers me is that we Pakistan’s want to get bombed just to show our love for Iran. Iranian bomb will be a threat not only for Pakistan but for all Arab states too with whom Iran has century old feud and thus none of the Arab states want them to become an atomic power. As a Pakistani I also want to make sure that we are the only ones who posses the bomb in whole of Islamic world that gives us a little edge on world affairs otherwise with our crumbling economy and bad governance we will be nothing. All what I have written above can be corroborated by related articles on the internet. And also we gave provided them the designs and everything for the bomb and still they can’t manufacture one as of now and some people think they will be going into space in few years. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Oct 20, 2010 - 8:11PM

    A Suhail,

    Well said. I cannot find any wrongs with that. Surprised actually.Recommend

  • hammer
    Oct 20, 2010 - 9:28PM

    Jundullah, Taliban, Al-Quaida etc. Are not products of Iran but your own, killing your own. The only edge you may have is to be the first muslim nation to become Bottom less Basket

  • Mehriene
    Oct 30, 2010 - 6:00PM

    A Suhail has written a very factual and rational reply. Pakistan’s mis-fortune is that most people who comment on events/articles are not well-read or well-informed. They just parrot whatever they hear on television talk-shows or from ill-literate mullahs ! I wish everyone would take a deep breath,stop,think it over and then respond instead of giving knee-jerk responses !
    When has Iran ever stood by us ? The sectarian violence in pakistan is a barely disguised proxy war between Iran and the Arab states.AND ,yes they DID sell us down the drain when they said we had helped with their nuclear programme…so WHY should we take a stand for them against the whole world ?
    As for AA’s remark why Mr. Qureshi had to comment on Iran….DUH ! HE IS THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF PAKISTAN,it is his brief to comment on EVERYTHING that impacts on Pakistan ! None of you (Yousaf,Samina,Adeel Ahmad,AA,Ade or Hammer (?), have given any rational,well thought out arguments. I suggest you go on the net and read up on the pros and cons for Pakistan if Iran was to acquire nuclear weapons ! I think you might ALL change your tune then.Recommend

  • hooki
    Dec 13, 2010 - 7:23PM

    iran does not need nuclear powerRecommend

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