Speaking on Sunday in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, President Hassan Rouhani said, “Iran is determined to further develop its economic relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan”.
Stating that the security of the region must be guaranteed by its countries, he said, “Foreign interference will add to the insecurity. The first step to ease tensions in the region is to establish a cease-fire in Yemen and end attacks on the innocent Yemenis, and Iran supports any attempt in this regard”.
He also referred to the attack on the Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday, describing such incidents as increasing insecurity in regional waterways.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has evidence in this regard, and will continue its investigations until the final result is achieved and its main perpetrators are found,” said the President.
The only regime that benefits from any sort of tension and conflict in the region is the Zionist Regime, said Rouhani, adding, “To resolve regional issues, we require changing strategies towards political dialogue with goodwill, security-building and developing regional cooperation instead of inviting trans-regional powers and regimes that benefit from tensions and conflicts”.
“We believe that relying on terrorists, the Zionist Regime, and the United States has no fruit except for more tension and damages to Islamic countries and regional nations, and does not guarantee security for any country and the region,” he said.
He also described maintaining peace and stability in the region, including the Persian Gulf, and ensuring the freedom and security of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz the definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, stating, “Sustainable security and peace in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz can only be achieved through the participation of regional states”.
Dr Rouhani emphasised, “Iran is always ready for dialogue and cooperation with all countries in the region”.
Referring to the tensions that have arisen over the past years against Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and especially Yemen, the President emphasised, “The military and political interference in the region has so far had disastrous results, and this approach is not in the interest of any of the countries in the region".
Dr Rouhani said that regional security is important for both countries and that Iran is a pioneer in this field and has recently put forward the Hormuz Peace Endeavour initiative based on the cooperation of all regional countries, adding, “This initiative includes the provision of energy security, freedom of navigation, and the free transfer of oil and other resources to the Strait of Hormuz and beyond”.
In another part of his remarks, the President referred to the US unjust sanctions against the Iranian people, saying, “The US government’s hostile behaviour, sanctions and maximum pressure on the Iranian nation is the most important factor in the heightened tensions in relations between the two countries, and it is Washington that has to decide and put an end to this futile course”.
Appreciating the goodwill and efforts of the Pakistani Prime Minister and government to help ease tensions in the region, Dr Rouhani welcomed any steps to this end and said, “The US’ request for negotiation without preconditions is not an honest move with sanctions in place; as we have repeatedly stated, we are ready to negotiate within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if sanctions are lifted”.
At the same meeting, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a friend and neighbour of Pakistan and has always supported Pakistan in difficult times.
“Considering its historical and sincere relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan wants to develop bilateral relations in all political, economic and cultural fields”, he said.
The Pakistani Prime Minister also referred to some regional disputes, saying, “Pakistan believes disputes can be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. Any tension in the region between neighbours is in the interest of third-party countries and those outside the region, and Islamabad is keen to play a role in negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, reducing tensions and increasing stability the region”.
"A ceasefire in Yemen can be a beginning to the peace and de-escalation process in the region and bilateral and multilateral talks," Khan said.
"Islamabad is ready to develop its commercial cooperation with Iran as well as ensuring security at the borders," he said.
Imran Khan also thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran's firm stances on the dynamics in Kashmir.