Feb 5, 2020, 3:07 PM
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Iranian envoy to Pakistan rules out any talks with US

Islamabad, Feb 5, IRNA – Iran's Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Ali Hosseini rules out any talks with the US due to ongoing economic and state terrorism against the brave nation of Iran.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini made the remarks as a keynote speaker at seminar on “41st Anniversary of victory of Islamic Revolution and Iran-Pakistan relations” organized by Islamabad Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI).

The Iranian ambassador along with Director General ISSI and senior diplomat Aizaz Chaudhry, on the occasion highlighted Iran-Pakistan ties, regional and global cooperation between the two states and regional developments.  

**No plans for talks with US

Mohammad Ali Hosseini replying to a question categorically said that Iran has no plans to talk to the US right now. “US is committing economic terrorism against Iran and imposing strongest pressures against us,” he said.

The ambassador noted the US has also threatened to target Iran’s cultural sites, which is in fact a cultural terrorism.  

“Recently the US committed a crime by assassinating our visionary commander, Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani so there are no grounds for talks with them,” added the diplomat.

**Iran has not decided to quit JCPOA

Ambassador Ali Hosseini to a question said that Iran has always proved its commitment towards the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the reports of the IAEA and the EU have confirmed adherence of the Islamic Republic towards the agreement.

He said that the US first withdrew from the agreement and now has been trying to spoil the deal. “The envoy said that stance of the European partners of the agreement is not clear while Russia and China have tried to respect the agreement, however Iran is still the part of the JCPOA,” said the envoy.

He said Iran has not taken any decision to withdraw from the agreement but all parties should respect to that deal as one country cannot adhere to an agreement without getting its rights.

**HOPE to ensure regional peace

The ambassador added Iran has always stressed on regional cooperation and that is why we presented Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) which would ensure regional peace and stability.

He said Iran believes in peaceful co-existence of the regional states. He noted Iran, Russia, China and Turkey can form a block for peace and stability in the region.

Director General ISSI Aizaz Chaudhry in his views said HOPE peace endeavor of Iran is positive and constructive measure for the Strait of Hormuz. “We have to find common grounds like HOPE,” viewed the international relations expert. 

**All countries welcomed to join Chabahar project

Replying to a question Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Iran is not limited to any one country in its regional projects.  “We have invited all countries to participate in Chabahar project and participation of India in the project is not to limit participation of other countries in the project,” he noted.

He said Iran cannot allow any other country to use this project for its own targets and Iran has offered to the other countries including Russia, China and Pakistan to invest and participate in the project that would source of stability and development in the region.

“Iran has never allowed and will never allow its soil to be used against any other country especially its neighbors,” he envoy pointed out.

**Iran ready for talks with Saudi Arabia

Ambassador Hosseini said Iran is ready for talks with Saudi Arabia directly or indirectly, in Tehran, Riyadh or even in Islamabad however Pakistan has not received any positive signal from the other side but we have not lost our hope. 

He said Iran welcomes Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative for peace in the region who visited Iran twice for the purpose.

**Iran supports CEPC

Answering a question he said that Iran has announced its support to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.  “We have expressed our readiness to be part of this project as it would bring regional stability,” he said.

**Foreign intervention basic reason for regional tensions

To another question ambassador Hosseini said foreign intervention and unilateral approach of some powers is the basic reason for tensions in the region.

He noted Iran has shown maximum restraint on the terrorist act of the US of assassinating Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani. “We believe that escalation in the region would not benefit anyone,” said the envoy.

** Kashmir issue cannot be ignored in Iran

To another question he said first and foremost stand on Kashmir issue has been taken by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. When the highest political and religious leadership of Iran takes a stand it should be a source of confidence for our brothers that Kashmir issue cannot be ignored in Iran.

Director General ISSI Aizaz Chaudhry in his remarks said Iran and Pakistan are not just neighbors they are tied by history, faith, art, culture, literature. “Iran held in high esteem in Pakistan and Iranian rich civilization distinguishes them from others,” said former ambassador.

Former foreign secretary said the resistant Iranian nation has braved many challenges. “Geo-politics of our region has created new challenges for all countries of the region,” the expert added.  

He said that tensions have increased between Iran and the US after latter’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of sanctions against Iran. 

The expert said entire Middle East is under deep stress which is a matter of concern for Pakistan. He said Pakistan on its part has tried to reduce tensions.

 “We see Iran-Saudi tensions with concerns and any outbreak in the region would adverse all parties including Pakistan,” he said.

Former ambassador went on to say that Iran and Pakistan have good border cooperation and trying to ensure that no terrorist element exploit the joint border.

He noted there is good scope of economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan but sanctions are a major impediment in this regards. “We need to find ways to overcome these issues,” stressed the former diplomat.

ISSI Chairman and former ambassador to Iran Khalid Mahmood expressed his views and said Pakistan has always maintained cordial ties with Iran. He was of the view that both sides should further enhance their cooperation for the benefit of their people.

Former ambassador noted that majority of Pakistanis favor Iran and according to a survey Pakistan is the most pro-Iranian nation in the world.

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