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Iran tells Canada to stop energy meddling

March 5, 2013 at 6:27 AM

TEHRAN, March 5 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the Iranian government called on Canada to avoid meddling in its internal affairs as they relate to a natural gas pipeline to Pakistan.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari last week visited Iran where he discussed a natural gas pipeline planned from Iran's South Pars natural gas field. Iran said it has some of the pipeline constructed already and offered Pakistan financial support to start building the project on its side of the border.

The pipeline is opposed by U.S. allies who worry about Iran's financial means to supports its controversial nuclear program. Last week, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said Canada was "deeply disappointed" in Pakistan's decision to support the pipeline.

Pakistan has sought ways to address an energy crisis. Western allies have thrown support behind a pipeline planned from Turkmenistan.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Canada is in no position to dictate energy terms in the region.

"Such illogical interference in internal affairs of regional nations indicates lack of proper understanding of the international developments and regional realities on the part of the Canadian statesmen," he was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

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