MILITARY ALLIANCE LED BY SAUDIA.... RIDICULOUS - AMB OF IRAN

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad, 18 March (NPC) the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Hoonardost on Thursday said that the intergovernmental military alliance of 34 Muslim states is a ridiculous move as some of the coalition partners are extending all out support to terrorist militias in the Middle East war theater.

Speaking at the National Press Club’s Meet the Press Program here on Friday, he said that four major Islamic countries of the Islamic block were out of the military coalition led by Saudi Arab. He was of the view that the loosely arranged fledgling alliance had a conflicting agenda..

The honorable guest said that Pakistan and Iran had a shared history of cordial relations rooted in centuries. He said both the countries had been engaged in religious, political, economic, commercial and cultural relations from the decades.

He welcomed Pakistan’s energy agreement with $ 16 billion dollar LNG gas agreement with Qatar and Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan India gas pipeline to enhance the energy cooperation in the region.

The envoy said that Pakistan had huge doorstep opportunities to get gas from Iran, adding that Iran- Pakistan gas pipeline would enhance the trade and economic relations between both of the countries.

``We have no hard conditions like other countries, adding that Iran want to provide cheap energy for industrial and economic progressof Pakistan, he said.

He said that both the countries would ink several agreements, including power sector agreement during the coming visit of President Hassan Rouhani. HE said Iran would export 1,000 MW electricity to Pakistan.

``We want to enhance trade volume with Pakistan from $ 100 million to $ 5 billion in coming years to strengthen the relations between both brotherly countries, he said.

The Iranian envoy refuted the question that ‘Iran surrendered to the United States’ over the nuclear deal and said, “We have told the world and the international community that nobody gave us this knowledge – so nobody can take it as it is in our minds.”

However, he added, that Iran has already made it clear earlier even before the deal that we will not make nuclear weapons.

Both of the countries need to expend the economic and trade cooperation as to enhance enhances the regional trade ties with other countries.

He said that Iran has important position in Middle Eastern region and regional cooperation and integrated approach need to curtail the terrorism in both regions.

Iranian Ambassador said that Pakistan has also greatly affected by terrorism and extremism and unified approach require halting the terrorist activities in both countries.

Terrorism is global phenomena and some countries are providing logistic and financial support to the terrorist against Iran and Pakistan as well in whole region.

He said that in coming visit of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani plans to undertake a visit to Islamabad most likely on March 25-26. However, the dates are not officially confirmed.

Mehdi Hoonardost said that in coming visit of Iranian president both brotherly countries to search for the new avenues and would signing the agreement in Free Trade, energy, trade, business and defense especially lifting of sanctions on Iran by the World Community including Pakistan.

In reply to a question regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh, he said that both of the countries need more cooperation and coordination to deal with terrorism.

Iran is committed to enhance the bilateral cooperation with Pakistan for the for better life standard of the people of the both countries for development and prosperity, he said.

 Economic cooperating between Pakistan and Iran to create employment and job opportunities in both countries, he said.

``We need to curtail the black economy in both side of the boarder and smuggling and both side of illegal border trade need to stop ‘he said.

Mr Honardoost said, “We accepted our path and were not dictated – the fact is that we need more economic strength now – there is need for growth and Iran has already proved that we can reach to the new heights of research and development without the help of any superpower.”

He highlighted that currently Iran has very strong R&D in the top ten branches of science.

He also stressed for promoting cultural exchange between Pakistan and Iran to enhance people to people contacts between the two countries.