Iran invites Pak to join Chabahar port project with India

Lester Mason
March 14, 2018

According to news agencies NA/PA, Zarif noted that Iran considers the security and stability of the neighboring countries as its own.

"The problem is that Saudis think that it is beneficial to them if the world considers that Iran is a threat against Saudi Arabia", the foreign minister remarked.

Pakistani officials have said the troops will be providing training to Saudi forces, particularly in mountain warfare, and will not be taking part in the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Iran-allied Houthi rebels since 2015. "However, we tell them (Saudis) that you can not provide security from outside of the region". The relations suffered more setbacks as 464 Iranian pilgrims were crushed to death in a stampede in Mecca in September 2015.

Iran created ripples in India's diplomatic circles with its foreign minister Javad Zarif declaring on Tuesday that Tehran had offered Pakistan and China participation in its strategic Chabahar port, which India is developing. Despite the port development pact between India and Iran, the 2016 connectivity agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan, and the inking of a lease agreement for operation of the port by India during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit here in February, Tehran wants to send out a clear message that only it can decide Chabahar's fate. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

"We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)". The Chabahar port, which is being developed by India was to strategically contest the Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is being operated by the Chinese.

The Pakistan high commission alleged that the children were harassed and blocked by Indian authorities while they were on their way to the British School, according to a report in The Times of India.

Zarif had earlier held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif and addressed a trade conference.

The Iranian foreign minister is accompanied by a 30-member delegation, including representatives from the business sector.

Zarif, who arrived March 12, met with senior officials and praised Pakistan for the "timely" sharing of intelligence, which he said allowed Iranian border guards to kill two would-be bombers. In an effort to ease Pakistan's worry, Iran's FM Zarif said that Chabahar was not to "encircle Pakistan...strangulate anybody". On the other hand, Pakistan issued a demarche to India saying it was becoming hard for its diplomats to function in Delhi. Pakistan has in the past tried to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Iran, but could not convince Riyadh to accept its good offices.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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