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March 14, 2018

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Terrorism attempts foiled with Pak help: Zarif

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said the two suicide attack attempts near his country’s border with Pakistan were foiled due to efforts from both countries.

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“Last night we had two suicide attack attempts from Pakistani territory into Iran. Both of them were foiled and we had an excellent cooperation last night from the Pakistani armed forces in order to contain this. We are very happy with the level of cooperation that exists today,” Zarif, who is visiting Pakistan, told Geo News anchorperson Hamid Mir in programme Capital Talk on Tuesday.

The Iranian foreign minister reiterated his commitment towards improving relations between the neighbouring countries, stressing that Iran would not allow its land to be used for activities against Pakistan.

“We have had conversations and discussions with our Pakistani friends at the highest level. We provided whatever we had and we continue to be ready. We believe that at the highest level there is a clear understanding in Pakistan about the fact that what we stated publicly will continue to be the case.”

Zarif also spoke about attempts by former premier Nawaz Sharif’s offer of mediation to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran welcomed the proposal, but “unfortunately, he [Nawaz] was not as warmly received in Saudi Arabia on this particular proposal. There was no reception to his suggestion,” he added.

Commenting on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was caught by Pakistan in March 2016 while crossing over from Iran, Zarif said the Iranian government had provided Pakistan with all the intelligence they had.

He said Gwadar and Chabahar ports are in fact complementary instead of being against each other. He said Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project is not abandoned and the issue would be resolved through negotiations. He said the CPEC would bring peace, prosperity and stability to the region. He said Iran was ready to supply gas to Pakistan’s broder regions.

The Iranian foreign minister said there was a need to liberate the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from political domination by those who were not interested in the goals of the OIC.

When asked about the future of the US-Iran nuclear deal, Zarif said the United States was in no position to either violate the deal or set conditions. “Unfortunately, President Trump has made a habit of being unpredictable and he has turned that habit into being unreliable.”

The foreign minister added that the United States was behind this nuclear agreement. “If others in the international community believe that the signature of a US president is only credible as long as that president is in office than I don’t think anybody would be interested in reaching an agreement with the United States because they are bound to be violated within 4-8 years.”

He said Kashmir issue should be resolved according to the international law.

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