TEHRAN, Iran – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is visiting Tehran where he is expected to finalize a gas pipeline deal with Iran that is being opposed by the United States.
The U.S. opposes the project because it is trying to isolate Iran economically over fears that the country might ultimately be able to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge.
Iran's state TV says Zardari was given a warm welcome by Iran's Oil Minister Qassem Soleimani at Tehran's Mehrabad airport Wednesday.
Pakistani leaders have vowed to press ahead with the pipeline despite U.S. opposition, saying it was vital for the supply of gas to the energy-starved country.
Iranian media say Tehran has agreed to provide a $500 million loan to help finance construction of the pipeline on the Pakistani side.