Iran expresses desire to join CPEC

Published: February 15, 2019
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CPEC route. PHOTO: REUTERS

CPEC route. PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA: Iran on Thursday expressed its desire to become a part of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The development took place during a meeting of Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost with members of the Pak-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Pak-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Haji Wali Noorzai, Iranian Consul General Agha Muhammad Rafiee, QCCI President Haji Jumma Badezai and members of the trade community were present.

“We believe CPEC is a very important and giant project which can greatly impact peace and cooperation among countries in the region,” said the ambassador. “Iran is an important country in the region with great potential and capabilities like transit line and all other resources.”

Honardoost even went as far as saying that “may be without the energy and transit support of Iran, the multi-billion dollar project will not reach its final stage”.

“We are ready to be a part of CPEC with all our capabilities and resources,” he added.

On Wednesday’s suicide attack on a convoy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Sistan Baluchestan, the ambassador said, “Unfortunately, Iran’s bordering region remains in the grip of terrorism, but Pak-Iran forces have commenced bilateral contact after the attack.

“Both Islamic countries are plagued by terrorism which has become a common phenomenon of this region,” said Honardoost, urging regional partners to launch joint efforts to root out terrorism.

He reiterated his trust in Pakistani forces to take decisive action against terrorists hiding in Pak-Iran bordering towns.

To a query regarding Saudi Arabia’s investment plan near the Iran border, Honardoost said, “Regional cooperation is one of the best ways to overcome poverty and other problems in the region and we are optimistic that one day cooperation and interaction among all countries will come to one point.

During the meeting, the QCCI and Pak-Iran Chamber of Commerce and Industry members discussed Pak-Iran trade activities and informed about their woes at the Taftan border.

Assuring Iran’s full cooperation in increasing trade with Pakistan, the ambassador said, “Due to American sanctions, Pak-Iran trade will take time to strengthen, but the Iranian government is willing to boost bilateral trade with Pakistan up to $5 billion.”

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