Sunday, 21 October 2018

Pakistan to pursue economic ties with Iran despite US sanctions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it reserves the right to ‘pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests’ with Iran in the wake of re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran by US President Donald Trump, who warned that the countries doing business with the Islamic states might also face the music.

“We are examining the implications of the US’ re-imposed sanctions on Iran,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal told reporters at his weekly news briefing.

“However, Pakistan, being a sovereign state, reserves the right to pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests while respecting the international legal regime,” Faisal added.

The Trump administration recently re-imposed sanctions on Iran with warning to other countries that Washington would slap similar restrictions on the states intending to do business with Tehran.

Relations between Pakistan and Iran have shown signs of improvement in recent months with both the countries have convergence of opinion on many regional issues including Afghanistan.

The Iranian ambassador in a meeting with PM-in-waiting Imran Khan expressed his country’s willingness to deepen trade ties with Pakistan.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also telephoned Imran on Wednesday and congratulated him over his party’s election victory. Imran accepted Rouhani’s invitation for the visit to Tehran.

In his victory speech, Imran called for improving ties with Pakistan’s immediate neighbours including Iran. But the latest row between Tehran and Washington would certainly test Imran’s diplomatic skills to protect Pakistan’s interests.

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