ISLAMABAD: Iran continued to dominate the political and diplomatic scene on Wednesday as Pakistan cautioned British Foreign Secretary William Hague that sanctions against the Gulf country beyond the ones mandated by the United Nations could have serious repercussions for Afghanistan and the Middle East.
The warning, Dawn has learnt, was conveyed by Pakistani diplomats during their talks with Mr Hague, who is in Pakistan on his first visit as foreign secretary.
According to Foreign Office sources, a significant part of the talks focussed on the latest UN sanctions on Iran and the subsequent efforts by the US and EU to take punitive measures against Tehran’s oil and gas sector.
Pakistan had on June 14 finalised a $7.6 billion gas pipeline deal with Iran, which is considered crucial for averting the energy crisis Pakistan is currently confronting. “Mr Hague was told that the US and EU sanctions could prove counter-productive and may force Iran to react,” a senior foreign ministry official informed Dawn.
Pakistan fears that a cornered Iran could affect the situation in Middle East and the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.