Sep 21, 2021, 2:49 PM
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Tehran-Islamabad cooperation key to resolve regional crisis: Iran Envoy

Islamabad, IRNA -- Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan says the two neighboring states have a common objective to establish peace and stability in the region, adding that their cooperation is the key to resolve the crisis in Afghanistan.

Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini while delivering a speech at National Defense University in Islamabad said it is necessary to draw up a joint roadmap to facilitate Afghanistan in achieving lasting peace and stability.

He described the latest positions and views of the Islamic Republic of Iran on bilateral relations with Pakistan and the opportunities ahead, the coronavirus challenge, global and regional developments and their impact on the two neighbors, the Afghan crisis, Palestine, and the Yemeni war.

Hosseini also explained the importance of historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan, political and diplomatic, defense and security cooperation, and the development of economic and trade relations.

He said the role of Iranian civilization and Persian language in the promotion of Islam and civilization in the sub-continent is significant.

"For example, there are deep and structural bonds between Persian and Urdu languages," he said.

He added that identity bonds between nations of Iran-Pakistan as two Muslim nations with rich civilization and culture, are one of the most important pillars of ties between the two countries.

The ambassador said every year according to international public opinion polls Pakistan is declared as the country with the most favorable view about Iran and supports Iran. People of Iran also love the people of Pakistan and every year hosts a large number of Pakistani tourists and pilgrims.

He noted Iran was the first country to welcome the establishment of an independent government of Pakistan and recognized it.

He said one of the main reasons for this is the deep ties of civilization, culture, and identity of the two nations, which has forever remained a supporting factor in maintaining and strengthening relations between the two neighbors.

The ambassador said the international cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, including the continuous exchange of delegations at high levels, reflects the forward state of relations between the two countries.  There are opportunities for relations between the two countries.   

"Therefore, consultations on bilateral and regional issues are ongoing and have increased in recent years under the leadership of prime minister, Imran Khan," he noted.

Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini went on to say the support and backing of the two countries to each other on international forums and organizations reflects the similar political and international political system of the two countries.

Tehran-Islamabad cooperation key to resolve regional crisis: Iran Envoy

**Defense and security cooperation

The ambassador said Iran and Pakistan have high capabilities and talent in the military and security forces field and are the guarantors of peace, stability, and security in the region. 

“Both countries have valuable experiences in peacekeeping, anti-terrorism, anti-organized crime and security, and drug control, and have established significant cooperation on these issues,” he added. 

He said the recent visits of high-ranking military commanders of the two countries, including the visit of Pakistani Navy Commander Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi last month and the coming visit of General Bagheri, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, testify it. 

Hosseini added that the continuous human connection between the Liaison Officers of the two countries in the field of control of drug trafficking and organized crime has helped to control the issue of drug trafficking in this region.

“Iran and Pakistan have more than 900 km of land border, the two countries agree on fencing the common border With the aim of reducing smuggling and increasing security, one of the most important recent achievements in the country in the field of border management, the border fencing by Pakistan with Iran continues in full force and will be completed soon,” he said.

He added this will lead towards effective management and control of the border, and by preventing the movement of miscreants and illegal activities at the borders, it will be an important step towards ensuring the security of the border provinces of both countries. 

**Economic and trade cooperation

Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini expressing his views said Iran and Pakistan have land, sea, air, and rail borders. Also, the economies of Pakistan and Iran are inherently complementary, and these two factors have great potential for the development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

He said Pakistan, has a developing economy with an increasing need for energy resources, and Iran is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of energy resources.  Also, Pakistan can meet some of Iran's needs, especially in the agricultural sector, and Iran has the capacity to be able to cover a significant percentage of Pakistan's needs for various goods and services. Iran is ready to meet Pakistan's energy needs (including oil and oil products, gas, electricity).

The envoy said IP gas pipeline, the most economical and secure way to supply gas to Pakistan and has laid down up to Pakistani borders by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and looking toward to steps and implementation of the commitments by the Pakistani side under the agreement.

He said having a common border is one of the most important capacities of cooperation between the two countries and in order to materialize this potential; governments of the two countries by inaugurating two new border crossings and warehouses at "Ramadin Gabd" and "Pishin Mand" and the signing of agreements for the opening of the third border crossing, took a big and historic step during the current year.

Previously, only one Mirjaveh-Taftan border crossing was active at the 900-kilometer border between the two countries.

He added the historical and religious ties of the two countries provide very favorable ground for tourism promotion between the two countries.  In previous years, a significant number of Pakistani pilgrims and tourists visited Iran every year.  Unfortunately, due to the Corona outbreak, many restrictions have been imposed on international travel and tourism since 2020, including between Iran and Pakistan. 

“This year, the 21st Joint Economic Commission of Iran and Pakistan will be held, in which ways to develop economic and trade relations and remove existing obstacles, including the lack of banking channels and the impact of sanctions, will be discussed,” he noted.

Tehran-Islamabad cooperation key to resolve regional crisis: Iran Envoy

** Global and regional developments and their impact on Iran and Pakistan

Ambassador Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini in his views said Afghanistan is the only common neighbor of Iran and Pakistan and has deep historical, religious, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic ties with both countries. 

The envoy said this time, the irresponsible withdrawal of US troops from the country has sparked unrest.  In such a situation, Afghanistan's neighbors, especially Iran and Pakistan, must find out ways to resolve the Afghan crisis, because instability and instability in this country will render huge cost and challenges for its neighbors, including the influx of more refugees and asylum seekers. 

“The risk of insecurity and the spread of terrorism, the increase in drug, arms and human trafficking, as well as the jeopardy of economic and trade interests, because economic growth, development, and promotion of trade and public relations, requires peace and stability in neighboring countries, therefore, instability and the crisis in Afghanistan will have profound and long-term effects on its neighbors, including Iran and Pakistan, and to prevent this crisis it is necessary to draw up a joint roadmap to facilitate Afghanistan in achieving lasting peace and stability,” he said.

He added recently, the two countries held very positive consultations in this regard and the recent visit of my brother H.E. Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan to Iran provided a good opportunity to hold consultations and discussions with the Iranian officials on the latest Afghan situation and I appreciate his efforts to shape a coordinated approach between the two countries in this regard.

**The policy of the superpowers

The envoy said the policy of the big powers towards our region, usually hinders the strategic closeness of the two neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan. 

He said the occurrence of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the independent orientations in the foreign policy of our country has been against the interventionist policies of the superpowers, especially the Western countries. 

He said the existence of anti-imperialistic political tendencies and ideologies and opposition to global imperialism among religious intellectuals and people of every Muslim in both countries have prompted the imperialist powers to try to prevent Iran and Pakistan from coming closer to each other.

“Unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran have extraterritorial effects and have put political and economic pressure on Iran's neighbors to expand economic relations in our region.  These unilateral sanctions and unfair pressures have prevented from the full materialization of the capacity for economic and trade relations between the countries of the region, including Iran and Pakistan,” said Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini.

He said the sanctions of the United Nations against the Islamic Republic of Iran through approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a document of the security council were lifted. But during the Trump presidency, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the treaty and imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. Then he tried to prevent the fulfillment of the commitments of the European parties under JCPOA towards Iran.

The ambassador said further, the US government started and continued military misadventures in the West Asian region in order to destabilize this region and prevent the unity and development of Islamic countries. 

“Some of the other destructive actions of the United States and its allies in the region include: fanning the flame of regional rivalries: sowing discord between Islamic countries, introducing neighbors as a threat, and marginalizing opportunities for cooperation,” he said.

Tehran-Islamabad cooperation key to resolve regional crisis: Iran Envoy

**The issue of Palestine and Yemen

Emphasizing the Islamic Republic of Iran's continued support for the Palestinian people and their resistance to occupying the Zionist regime, the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan said the issue of Palestine is the most important issue in the Islamic world.

He added since last year, the issue of normalization of relations with the Zionist regime and the compromising approach of some countries in the region has led to the formation of a new phase of resistance in Islamic countries.

The ambassador said unfortunately, some Islamic states have come under pressure to normalize their relations with the greedy and occupier regime of Israel, and if they do not follow these pressures, they have threatened retaliation in other areas.

Regarding the Yemeni crisis, Hosseini said the unresolved Yemeni crisis after seven years and the failure to establish an effective ceasefire has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in our region.

He said a coalition of several countries has invaded Yemen since April 2015, and according to human rights organizations, the invasion of Yemen has killed at least 17,000 civilians and injured more than 26,000.

He added the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the accepted rules of international law, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen, and taking into account the will of the Yemeni people to recognize their right to self-determination.

He concluded: Resolving the current situation of regional crises and achieving peace and stability in the region requires multilateralism, the withdrawal of foreign forces, and an end to the destructive intervention of extra-regional powers.

272**2050

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