ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Friday supported Iran's stand on the nuclear agreement after the US withdrawal from the deal and also hoped that other signatories would continue to stick to its terms.
In a meeting here with Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan supported Iran’s principled stance and expressed the hope that remaining parties to the agreement would uphold their commitments in letter and spirit.
This was important, he said, given International Atomic Energy Agency’s “repeated verification that Iran has strictly adhered to the terms of agreement.” The foreign minister added that Pakistan stands with Iran in this hour of need.
The deal, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 - the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, US plus Germany - and the European Union.
On October 13, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the US would not make the certification provided for under US domestic law, but stopped short of terminating the deal. On April 30, 2018, the US and Israel alleged that Iran did not disclose a past covert nuclear weapons programme to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was required in the 2015 deal. And on May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the agreement.
Pakistan’s support for Iran comes at a time when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo along with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford are expected in Pakistan on September 5 to hold talks with Pakistan new leadership on “action against common foes and terrorists.”
US Secretary Defence James Mattis said: “During their meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other Pakistani leaders, Secretary of State and General Joseph will clearly ascertain what we have to do.”
Mattis said action against ‘common foes and terrorists’ will remain key issue to discuss during the talks, adding: “It will be made clear to authorities in Pakistan that what we have to do for all our nations.”
MEETING WITH GEN BAJWA
Javad Zarif also held detailed meetings with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
During his meeting with Gen Bajwa at General Headquarters, regional security situation and other matters of mutual interest were discussed, said a press release issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
General Bajwa said that Pakistan is taking sincere steps for peace and security in the region. The visiting dignitary acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s contributions for conflict prevention in the region.
IRANIAN FM DELIVERS ROUHANI’S MESSAGE
Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday received Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif, for a meeting, who conveyed to him the greetings and best wishes of the people and leadership of Iran on assuming the office.
He stated that Iran wished continued progress and prosperity to the people of Pakistan.
Javad Zarif delivered a message of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, inviting the prime minister for the upcoming Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Iran, in October 2018.
Both Pakistan and Iran are members of the organization. Iran currently holds the chair of the organization.
Welcoming the foreign minister, Imran thanked the Iranian Supreme Leader’s support for Kashmiri’s struggle for self-determination as well as for the manner in which Pakistan Independence Day was celebrated in Iran.
Recalling his recent telephonic conversation with President Rouhani, Imran said Pakistan and Iran were connected by inseparable bonds of historic, religious and cultural affinities. He added during his tenure Pakistan would make all efforts to cement these relations in various areas to the benefit of both countries.
Referring to cancellation of blasphemous Dutch caricatures competition following the Government of Pakistan’s strong condemnation and protest recently, he underlined the need for the Muslim countries to confront Islamophobia with one voice. The love and respect of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was part of every Muslim’s faith and no one could be allowed to disrespect it, he added.
A foreign ministry statement issued here said that Javad Zarif held detailed talks with Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The foreign minister noted the potential for strengthening the already strong bilateral relationship. “Pakistan and Iran have stood by each other in difficult moments,” he added.
Both the sides underlined the need to promote bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation. Detailed discussions were also held on regional and global issues including the situation in Afghanistan and US decision to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA.
It was agreed to host the next rounds of Bilateral Political Consultations and the Joint Economic Commission at early dates, said the foreign ministry statement. “Useful exchange of views on strengthening cooperation in economic, trade and connectivity sectors, cultural and people to people links, took place,” it said.
Expressing satisfaction over cooperation with regard to the Pakistan-Iran border, it was agreed to continue close consultations through various forums in this regard.
The foreign minister stressed that Pakistan greatly valued Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s strong and unswerving support for the just struggle of the people of Kashmir.
Javad Zarif said Pakistan is an "important" neighbouring country to Iran, stressing that no third country can negatively affect relations. Zarif said Tehran sets no limitation to the expansion of ties with Islamabad. He stressed the importance of improving mutual relations at regional and international levels, saying the two countries must further strengthen cooperation in the sectors of border security and banking as well as cooperation between Iranian and Pakistani ports of Chabahar and Gwadar.
Javad Zarif congratulated the foreign minister that Pakistan’s strong protest against the blasphemous caricature competition had led to cancellation of the event in the Netherlands. “Muslim countries needed to confront Islamophobic tendencies with one voice,” he contended.
Pakistan supports Iran on nuclear deal