Pakistan opposes US sanctions on Iran

Islamabad, Oct 11, IRNA - Pakistan on Thursday opposed unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on Iran saying that it would continue to trade with Iran in own interest.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal while replying to a question at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad said that Pakistan in principle is opposed to coercive economic sanctions which affect the human development and add to the poverty of not only a specific country but the entire region.

He added that sanctions limit the economic opportunities and suffocate regional trade. “We should analyze all available options to continue trade with Iran in our interests,” the official noted.

“We are not in a competition with any country on our ties with Iran,” he said.

“The US unilateral withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) despite Iran adherence to the agreement is regrettable,” he noted.

The spokesperson added the JCPOA represents a good example of negotiated settlement of a complex issue through dialogue and diplomacy.

The JCPOA stipulates the gradual removal of the West’s sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran maintaining a peaceful nature of its nuclear program. However, US President Donald Trump announced in May the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal and the reinstating of the first round of sanctions in August.

Dr Mohammad Faisal said that engagements with the United States have been increased ever since the assumption of present government in Pakistan.

About recently held talks with US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad, the spokesperson said Pakistan conveyed to the US side that it will take all possible steps in good faith to facilitate the political settlement in Afghanistan.

“However, it remains a shared responsibility and the role of the US, Afghan government and other regional players is important,” he noted.

To a question, the spokesperson said both Pakistan and China are open to third party investment in some CPEC projects including the special economic zones.

He said that Pakistan has not shied away from talks with India and is open to discuss all issues including Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism.

The spokesperson said there are no restrictions on media in Pakistan and the media outlets are operating freely.
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