Sep 28, 2019, 10:10 AM
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Iran envoy calls for regional cooperation to overcome problems

Islamabad, Sept 28, IRNA -- Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said on Saturday that regional cooperation is the only way forward to overcome the problems and there is no need of interference and presence of external forces in our region.

Mehdi Honardoost made the remarks answering a question at a one day national conference titled “Nuclear of Indian Ocean: Implications for South Asian Strategic Stability and Environmental Safety organized by South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University in Islamabad.

He said that lack of communication and cooperation is the main problem in the region especially among the countries which are around the Persian Gulf. 

“I am so sorry that under the written scenario the Islamophobia in the world and Iranphobia in the region involved all of us to each other,” said the diplomat.

“We should set aside the excuses and come together and talk to each other openly and transparently to find a solution to the problems the region is facing,” he viewed.

To another question he said why all of the tensions are in central and south Asia. The ambassador expressing his views said that Iran has called upon both India and Pakistan to come together and solve the problem of Kashmir through diplomatic channel because the region has suffered lot of pain.

The envoy said that we are against the bully approach of the big powers and we have suffered and paid the cost which is not easy.

He said that ceasefire is the first step for them to start a dialogue with Iran but day by day they are putting more and more sanctions. Mehdi Honardoost added it is not fair that you invite somebody for volleyball and before the game you cut both the hands of the other players.

The envoy said according to our history and culture and sagacity of our leaders we cannot kneel down to any country in the world.

“We are facing unique sanctions against our people but our leader has announced very frankly that set aside these heavy sanctions and if they are honest we are ready for the dialogue,” the envoy stated.

As a keynote speaker on ‘Evolving Security Matrix and other issues of mutual interest’ he said that our region is the cradle of fundamental problems that most of them are resulted from misinterpretation and historic mistrusts.  

“The desire for cooperation, not important in which field, exists between our countries but this willingness faces many impediments,” said the envoy.

He said that peace in Afghanistan is a major security challenge in south Asia and historical rivalries between Muslim countries, refugee crisis, drug smuggling and human trafficking are other challenges.

Mehdi Honardoost noted that international double standard in defining terrorism is the other element that has forces us to be suspicious at each other.

The ambassador said the US decision of calling IRGC a terrorist organization will make further military and intelligence cooperation between our countries more difficult.

The Iranian diplomat said that interventionism and unilateralism is another problem for our region that prevents the countries to link horns for regional progress.

He said that Iran and Pakistan are located on transit line of human and drug trafficking. He said that both countries are also exposed to terror and foreign intervention.

“We have lot of capabilities for better communication. We are willing to give everything to our brotherly country of Pakistan,” said the ambassador. 

He said that Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project can change the face of Pakistan’s economy. He noted that currently Iran is exporting 104 MW of electricity to Pakistan and is willing to increase it to 3000 MW but Pakistani side has to take practical steps to materialize the offer.   

“We face many obstacles in improving our regional convergences. To battle these impediments, we need to be more resilient, self reliant and diligent,” Mehdi Honardoost said.

He added that Iran and Pakistan need to prioritize regional and neighborhood cooperation to other forms and options of dealing their problems.

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