The ambassador of Iran in Pakistan has called for close counter-terrorism cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad.

Iran Press/Asia: Iran's ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost was speaking at a seminar on 'Pakistan-Iran Relations: Current scenario and future prospects' at Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI).

According to an IRNA report, Honardoost said: “Iran and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. This concern should be at the top of the agenda of negotiations and consultations between the relevant authorities.”

The ambassador made his comment in the context of last month’s terrorist attack in Sistan and Balouchestan province, the abduction of border guards in October 2018, and similar terrorist incidents in the past.

Honardoost said the hand of a third party, which supports terrorism, extremism and is against closer Iran-Pakistan ties, is evident in these incidents. 

He said he is confident that Pakistan and Iran would together foil the sinister designs of “the third party”, the one that is not easy with brotherly and friendly ties between Iran and Pakistan and is also involved with supporting “extremism and terrorism”.

Speaking about the recent conversation between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Imran Khan the ambassador said, the two leaders had reaffirmed their pledge to cooperate for border security.

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Honardoost said Iran is pleased with good communication channels with Pakistan on all issues. The two countries, he said, are exploring new areas of cooperation. Asked about some Arab countries’ planned investment in Gwadar, the ambassador said: "Tehran is not concerned about constructive engagement of any country with Pakistan." 

“We expect solidarity, cooperation, and interaction between Pakistan and other Muslim countries to improve,” he said.

He, however, emphasized that it is Pakistan’s obligation as a responsible country that “the cooperation is not misused against any other country”.

The ambassador spoke about trade and economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan. Emphasizing the importance of completion of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, he said it could “provide the foundation for revival of Pakistan’s economy” by strengthening Pakistan’s energy security and ending power shortages in the country.

“We are waiting for Pakistan to move on the project,” he said.

Honardoost reiterated that Pakistan’s Gwadar and Iran’s Chabahar ports are not rival ports, rather they are sister ports. The ambassador said a passenger and goods ferry service between Karachi and Chabahar is being negotiated.

“The inauguration of ferry service and initiation of supply of electricity to Gwadar from Iran would be the best way to celebrate the sisterhood of the two ports,” the ambassador reiterated. 101/211/201

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