Tuesday Mar 13, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that two suicide blast attempts near his country’s border with Pakistan last night were foiled due to efforts from both countries.
“Last night we had two suicide attack attempts from Pakistani territory into Iran. Both of them were foiled and we had excellent cooperation last night from the Pakistani armed forces in order to contain this. We are very happy with the level of cooperation that exists today,” Zarif, who is visiting Pakistan, told Geo News anchorperson Hamid Mir on 'Capital Talk'.
The Iranian foreign minister reiterated his commitment towards improving relations between the neighbouring countries, stressing that Iran would not allow its land to be used for activities against Pakistan. “We have had conversations and discussions with our Pakistani friends at the highest level. We provided whatever we had and we continue to be ready. We believe that at the highest level there is a clear understanding in Pakistan about the fact that what we stated publically will continue to be the case.”
Zarif also spoke about attempts by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. “Unfortunately he [Nawaz Sharif] was not as warmly received in Saudi Arabia on this particular proposal. There was no reception to his suggestion.”
Commenting on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was caught by Pakistan in March 2016 while crossing over from Iran, Zarif said the Iranian government had provided Pakistan with all the intelligence they had.
Iran provided whatever information the country had and Iran will never allow its territory to be used against Pakistan, said Zarif when asked about convicted Indian spy Jhadav.
“We know Pakistan will never take actions to harm Iranian interests and Iran will never take actions to harm Pakistani interests,” he further said.
While speaking on the issue of the Pak-Iran gas pipeline, He said that it can be hoped that the issue is resolved through negotiations and dialogue. The pipeline is in the interest of both countries and will enhance energy security in Pakistan.
“We have done our part, and have invested $2bn in the project,” he said.
Iran is open for any type of collaboration with China, said Zarif when asked if China could become a part of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.
Regarding the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, Zarif said it is important to develop infrastructure projects in this region. He added that the region has suffered and such projects will benefit the region.
“We believe these two ports (Chabahar and Gwadar) complement each other and are not competing,” he said.
He said that this region has been economically deprived, which has led to spread of terrorism.
Zarif said that Pakistan and Iran can play a crucial role in the regional stability and progress.
When asked about a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Iranian diplomat said there is a list of grievances between the two countries.
“We have always said stability of Saudi Arabia is in our interests, similarly, the stability of the region is in Iran’s interests. We have made offers for dialogue. Unfortunately, our neighbours have always have had the perception that security can be bought. Security cannot be bought,” further said Zarif.
He said that if the Kingdom wants to resolve the issues it faces then Iran is ready to offer assistance, however, if it wants to engage the politics of confrontation then it is a dead-end.
The Iranian foreign minister said there was a need to liberate the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from political domination by those who were not interested in the goals of the OIC.
When asked about the future of the US-Iran nuclear deal, Zarif said the United States was in no position to either violate the deal or set conditions. “Unfortunately president Trump has made a habit of being unpredictable and he has turned that habit into being unreliable.”
The foreign minister added that the United States was behind this nuclear agreement. “If others in the international community believe that the signature of a US president is only credible as long as that president is in office than I don’t think anybody would be interested in reaching an agreement with the United States because they are bound to be violated within 4-8 years.
Moreover, on Tuesday, Zarif called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the regional security situation and bilateral issues were discussed during the meeting.
The army chief said the region will benefit from the cooperation of South Asian states, according to the ISPR.