Regional capacities, maritime cooperation to help strengthen ties with Pakistan: Iranian Ambassador

Regional capacities, maritime cooperation to help strengthen ties with Pakistan: Iranian Ambassador

Mohammad Ali Hosseini during an in interview with Nawa-i-Waqt one of the oldest Urdu-language newspapers in Pakistan, said that Iran has a clear position on bilateral cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, regional developments, Afghanistan, Iran nuclear deal, and other international issues.

Regarding the Vienna talks, he said the talks are on the right track and will be followed up seriously by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Of course, the American side has not shown enough seriousness in accepting its commitments to return to the deal and complete lifting of sanctions,” he said.

Hosseini added that due to the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, the illegal sanctions and pressure on Iran’s trading partners returned back which led to the blocking of billions of dollars of our nation’s assets.

“Especially in the field of health and medicine, a lot of damage has been done to Iran and the issue of requesting compensation from the United States is raised as an option in the negotiations and the Western parties must respond accordingly,” he said.

He said, “Our government, based on the instructions of the Supreme Leader and the resolutions of the Islamic Consultative Assembly is trying to ensure that it receives sufficient guarantees so that the United States will not be able to withdraw from the agreement and the sanctions will not return.”

“We are also ready to take compensatory action on our nuclear activities if we verify the full lifting of sanctions. If the Western parties fulfill their obligations, Iran will fulfill its obligations as in the past, in good faith,” he said.

** Collective action of Islamic states need of the hour against Islamophobia

The ambassador said Islamophobia has been on the rise in western societies especially in the last two decades, which has affected the daily life of Muslims in cultural, communication, economic, social and political fields.

“Dealing with this dangerous issue requires the collective action of Islamic countries through the platform of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international organizations, especially the United Nations,” he said.

Hosseini strongly believed that Islamophobia must be criminalized in domestic law of countries as well as in international law and punished accordingly.

The ambassador said one of the most important tools to advance this goal in the West is to take advantage of the diverse capacities of the mass media and their tremendous impact in creating an atmosphere and shaping public opinion.

“Meanwhile, visual media such as cinema and television, due to their exclusive features, have probably played the most important role in creating and perpetuating negative public attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. Therefore, Muslims should also try to introduce the true face of Islam and the Islamic way of life to other societies by using the media artistically,” he suggested.

** Iran-Pakistan determined to increase trade volume

Emphasizing the importance of friendly and neighborly relations between Iran and Pakistan and joint capacities to increase economic cooperation, through Chabahar and Gwadar ports, Hosseini said the two countries are determined to take the bilateral trade volume to at least five billion dollars.

He added that as a country rich in energy, Iran can help Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis and in return, Pakistan can export agricultural products and livestock to Iran.

The ambassador hoped that by removing barriers of trade, the two countries can enhance trade.

“One of the most important obstacles to the development of trade between the two countries is the lack of banking channels that have been created as a result of unilateral and illegal sanctions and in the framework of US economic terrorism against the Iranian nation,” he noted.

He said Iran has introduced alternative and tried-and-tested ways of export, including pure trade and trade in local currencies, which could help boost bilateral trade.

The Iranian ambassador to Pakistan said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is part of the One Belt and One Road initiative which is aimed at connecting region to bring economic stability.

He added Iran has repeatedly stated its desire to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with all its capabilities and facilities.

“We have developed our trade relations with Pakistan and we believe that trade should not be limited by other factors,” he said.

Hosseini stated that Iran’s infrastructure in the field of transportation, rich energy resources, as well as Iran’s progress in the field of technology can help develop the capacity of the CPEC.

“We do not look at the CPEC as just a commercial and economic project; it can help develop peace and friendship in the region and can solve many problems in the region,” he pointed out.

Regarding the capacities of the two countries in maritime sector, he said that Chabahar and Gwadar ports, as two complementary ports, can be an important part of a large project that connects the Indian Ocean to the Iranian plateau and from there to Eurasia and Europe.

“Complementary and simultaneous development of these two ports and strengthening their role in the east-west transit route and the north-south corridor can benefit people of both countries,” he said.


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