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April 6, 2016

Why was news leaked to media despite best security contacts, asks Iranian envoy

Top Story

April 6, 2016

Honardoost says Iran not to allow its soil to be used against Pakistan; terms news 100 percent false; some countries and elements not happy with Pak-Iran friendship

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said on Tuesday that despite good contacts between the security institutions of Pakistan and Iran, the news about the RAW agent was leaked to the media, which is unprecedented.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Honardoost said Iran is a time-tested friend of Pakistan and the security and stability of Pakistan is that of Iran. He said some countries aren’t happy with the Pak-Iran friendship.

“It is for the first time in the history of Pak-Iran relations that after such an impressive high-level visit during which all aspects of bilateral relations were adequately discussed, an issue was raised,” Honardoost said while replying to a question about the Raw operative’s arrest in Pakistan and his connections in the Chahbahar port in Iran.

The envoy said, “It is for the first time that before being discussed between security authorities of the two countries, an issue was leaked to media. “We have reservations over it which have been conveyed to our Pakistani brothers,” he said, adding that both the countries share a long border and security authorities on the two sides are well connected, then why this issue (of RAW operative) caught media attention.

The ambassador said that after a successful visit of President Rouhani, Iran received this ‘backlash.’  “According to latest news and all of talking that we had between our embassy and Pakistani authorities, both sides reached to the agreement, reached to this fact that some factors tried to deteriorate and misuse this atmosphere, all of Pakistani brothers emphasised there are no different views about security measures between the two countries.”

He said, “Our people, distinguished brothers, and public opinions are so concerned about this false news, one hundred percent false news, and fortunately all authorities in Pakistan emphasise about it, that its false news and no one has the right to ignite this issue,” Honardoost said.

“False news exactly, as it says that Iranian side ignored and averted its eyes to the activities against Pakistan; it is one hundred percent false, we totally denied it,” the ambassador continued. “If there is even a slight signal of security issue, Pakistan security authorities can talk to their Iranian counterparts, they have very good relations; Iran would never allow its soil to be used against Pakistan.”

Asked how would he elaborate President Rauhani’s hinting at ‘certain elements,’ who spread rumours whenever Iran and Pakistan came closer, Honardoost replied that Iran is a time-tested friend of Pakistan. He said some countries perhaps are not happy over Iran-Pakistan friendship. “Some elements are not satisfied with our relations, and whenever we come close, we receive such reaction, but, as I said both countries have shared destination, interests and concerns.”

To a question on Pak- Iran gas pipeline, the ambassador said that Iran has spent $2 billion on construction of the pipeline on its part. “We have brought gas to the thresholds of Pakistan, now we are awaiting completion of the Pakistani side of the pipeline.”

The envoy said the second biggest Iranian bank is now opening its branches in Karachi. He said that there were no hurdles between Iran and the European Union at present. “Entire sanctions have been lifted from Iran, the US has maintained its own sanctions, which it would continue, and I am not much optimistic about Iran-US ties in future,” the ambassador concluded.




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