(BEIJING, China) — In what has to be regarded as a setback for the Obama administration, Pakistan and Iran are seeking to improve diplomatic relations through the purchase of energy.
Attending the Boao Forum for Asia 2012 in China over the weekend, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani discussed importing 1,100 megawatts of electricity from Tehran to combat his country’s power shortage with Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh. The two countries are already working on other power projects.
Gilani also maintained that his government wants to see a peaceful resolution regarding the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, while the Iranian vice president called for better contacts for the benefit of the two nations.
The U.S. has had no diplomatic ties with Tehran for more than 30 years as President Obama has clamped down further on Iran by imposing tougher oil import sanctions to force its hand on the nuclear question.
Meanwhile, relations between Washington and Islamabad have been strained by the still simmering controversy over two dozen Pakistani soldiers killed last November in a NATO airstrike.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN