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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Washington warns Islamabad against 'potential risk of sanctions' amid Iran deals

Pakistan’s economic success is in both of our interest, and we look forward to continue our partnership, says State Dept

By Web Desk
April 23, 2024
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif unveil the plaque to rename an avenue in the federal capital to Iran Avenue during the formers three-day official visit in Islamabad, April 22, 2024. — X/@PakPMO
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif unveil the plaque to rename an avenue in the federal capital to Iran Avenue during the former's three-day official visit in Islamabad, April 22, 2024. — X/@PakPMO

As Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi continues his crucial three-day visit to Pakistan, Islamabad has received an understated warning from Washington over its growing closeness with Tehran, hinting a "potential risk of sanctions".

In light of the two nations signing various bilateral agreements, the US State Department spokesperson on Tuesday said: "We advise anyone considering business deals with Iran to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions."

The spokesperson, without mentioning Pakistan in the aforementioned statement warned against business deals with Tehran and later reminded Islamabad about its own trade and economic ties with Washington.

The US is Pakistan’s biggest export market and one of its largest investors, they said.

"We have also been a leading investor in Pakistan for the past 20 years. Pakistan’s economic success is in both of our interest, and we look forward to continuing our partnership," the spokesperson added, stressing the significance of economic relations between both countries.

However, considering Islamabad's closeness with Tehran amid President Raisi's three-day visit and the bilateral agreements signed between the two nations, the spokesperson hinted towards these relations being at risk with chances of potential sanctions owing to Iran's position in the world.

"We do not preview potential sanctions actions," the spokesperson said and referred journalists to the Government of Pakistan for any further comment on the matter.

The State Department's statement comes at a crucial standpoint in Pakistan's history as it works to advance its "brotherly ties" with Iran by welcoming their president, months after their cross-border skirmishes in January.

The statement also holds significance following Iran's standing at the global level, owing to its regional activities and recent clashes with Israel after it attacked its embassy in Damascus, killing two senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Meanwhile, both Tehran and Islamabad also signed a total of eight accords on varying subjects to enhance cooperation in the different fields including trade, science technology, agriculture, health, culture, and judicial matters with both PM Shehbaz and President Raisi witnessing the momentous occasion.

In his address during joint presser with the prime minister, the Iranian president revealed that both Pakistan and Iran have agreed to increase trade volume to $10 billion.

The signing ceremony also marked the ratification of a security cooperation agreement between the governments of both countries.