Iran not against CPEC, Gwadar port: Javad Zarif

Published: August 13, 2015
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Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Islamabad on August 13, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Islamabad on August 13, 2015. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Iran dismissed on Thursday suggestions that it was against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, including the Gwadar Port, saying it “supports growth and development anywhere in Pakistan.”

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif addressing a joint press conference with Sartaj Aziz, “We believe economic development both in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and Iran’s Sistan are fundamental to fight poverty and extremism.”

Responding to a question regarding Iran’s support for CPEC and the Gwadar port, Zarif stated, “We certainly support growth and development anywhere in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan.”

Read: Iranian Foreign Minister due in Pakistan this week: official

Zarif’s statement comes in view of reports claiming that Tehran considers the project a potential threat to its Chahbar port. Further, following the nuclear deal, India has also shown interest in building the Chahbar port, which is not far from Gwadar.

PHOTO: PID

Chinese announcement of investing a whopping $46 billion on the CPEC has led to speculations that other regional countries particularly India and Iran may make attempts to undermine the project. However, the Iranian diplomat dismissed the suggestion reiterating that his country is in full support of such development projects.

Further, Zarif called upon Pakistan to work in unison to eliminate sectarianism, terrorism and extremism from the region and the world.

Read: After nuclear deal, Pakistan and Iran seek to increase trade

Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday in Islamabad, Zarif said, “It is a great pleasure and honour to be back in Pakistan within a time span of four to five months.”

“Today I was received by the prime minister of Pakistan and we discussed a number of bilateral and regional issues,” he said adding violence, insecurity and terrorism in the region, the Middle East and in general, needs to be dealt with.

“PM Nawaz and I discussed to increase cooperation between the two countries in sectors ranging from oil to gas, energy, transportation and others,” he added.

The Iranian foreign minister maintained that a delegation between the two countries will discuss how to bring into effect the agreements made between the leaders of Pakistan and Iran.

Zarif said the two countries actively need to work towards establishing peace in the hotspots of the region and play a responsible role.

Read: Iran nuclear deal a potential game changer: Zardari

The visit comes in the aftermath of the landmark nuclear agreement that Tehran signed with the world powers last month.

Pakistan is hopeful that the nuclear deal will now pave the way for the completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. The two countries are also looking towards each other to counter the threat being posed by the Islamic State group in this part of the world.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Munir Akram
    Aug 13, 2015 - 1:41PM

    This is a good omen on part of Iran to visit Pakistan before going to India. This shows that for Iran, the way to India goes through Pakistan.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Aug 13, 2015 - 1:53PM

    Iran is a no nonsense country. They will utilize every possible opportunity which benefits Iran after relaxation in ban. Recommend

  • Ibrar
    Aug 13, 2015 - 3:05PM

    Although Iran has been pleased with Pakistan’s decision not to send army to fight Yemen its relations with India and Pakistan are likely to be independent. Iran will Persue policies which will best suite its national interests.Recommend

  • True Left
    Aug 13, 2015 - 3:16PM

    Pakistan and Iran need to work together to keep the Balochistan region where both Chabahar and Gwadar are located, safe and stable.

    They should work together to not allow meddling from any third country, I’m sure Pakistan & Iran partnership would be good because we’ve worked together in the past with the Shah in counter-insurgency in the same region. Pakistan and Iran have always enjoyed good relations contrary to misperceptions. Iran was the 1st country to recognize Pakistan and assisted us in the ’65 war, and the Ayatollah has given speeches in favor of our Kashmiri brothers struggle.

    We just need to come on the same page regarding Afghanistan, otherwise all seems to be going fine.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Aug 13, 2015 - 3:47PM

    Don’t trust Iranians, Iran and Afghanistan are two snakes, both are good friends of India,, we have nothing much to gain from Iran, ,,,our true friends and trustworthy partners are Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, who has proven again and again their friendship with Pakistan, but Iranian and afghans have always backstabbed Pakistan many times, and supported IndiaRecommend

  • iftikhar
    Aug 13, 2015 - 4:51PM

    @Naveed: your claims about Iran are baseless, he remained a sincere friend of Pakistan but deficiencies are more prominent on our side. Your bond with gulf is not on equality based friendship but is rather a marriage of needs. Pakistan can benefit more from a next door neighhour than arab monarchs. Sectarianism is one of the gifts of Saudi friendship.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Aug 13, 2015 - 7:13PM

    @iftikhar….i am talking practically..being neighbour doesn’t mean being well wisher, Iran has secretly worked with India to destabilize Pakistan,,,,Iran never had emotional attachment with pak like Saudi n gulf states have……yes in 65 they were with us, bcoz that time Iran was an ally of USA, and USA was our ally, so that had to happen,,,
    but from many years Iran works on Indian interest. Iran has no emotional bond with us, Saudi n gulf have old and trustworthy bond with us….so don’t need to trust Iran, they have nothing much to offer,,,closeness to Iran, will get Saudi away from us….and India will take advantage and Saudi & India will come closer, so think properly don’t jump on conclusionRecommend

  • Zareena
    Aug 13, 2015 - 8:37PM

    @Naveed:
    Mature diplomacy means maintaining a balance between both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Openly teaming up to only one of them while dumping the other is stupid.Recommend

  • Zohaib
    Aug 13, 2015 - 8:51PM

    Iran has to say things like this. It cannot openly oppose CPEC because China is its main stakeholder, and India’s ambitions to develop Chabahar have still not gotten off the ground. Right after Iran concluded the nuclear deal with the Western powers, it asked India to invest $8 billion Chabahar. India in response gave no answer, gave no reaction at all to the Iran nuclear deal (read: it didn’t congratulate Iran like the rest of the world did), and then immediately afterward Ajit Doval and Sushma Swaraj made an official visit to Israel, while Narendra Modi announced he’d visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE. When Iran courted India for Chabahra, India responded by openly courting the three countries that are Iran’s mortal enemies. Now the Iranian foreign minister comes to Pakistan before heading off to India and makes tall claims and grand promises to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Aug 13, 2015 - 8:53PM

    @Naveed:
    With your assessment of Iran, I agree. With your assessment of Saudi Arabia, I disagree. Both these countries are sectarian terrorist rogues who are both equally snakes. Pakistan’s task is to maintain a careful balance between them both and keep them both at arm’s length because they’ll both bite Pakistan the first chance they get.Recommend

  • ShamelessPakistanis
    Aug 13, 2015 - 10:14PM

    When will we shun anti shiaism to actually see reality of Iran? I feel ashamed to be a Muslim when my brothers are bashing Iran which is by far the most successful country of Musilm Ummah with all the sanctions and in that there achievements. If these arrogant Pakistani Muslims can learn from them things will be good. The first and foremost thing is get a religious pious un corrupt leader in Islamabad. Recommend

  • Whiskey Khan
    Aug 13, 2015 - 10:18PM

    @ Nasir, How Many Iranian and Saudis have you caught killing innocent Pakistanis. Blaming others for your own wrong has become a national habit.Recommend

  • YOUSAF
    Aug 13, 2015 - 10:57PM

    India, instead of taking interest in Chahbar port, should work on eliminating poverty and racial discrimination within India.

    A way to progress Recommend

  • romm
    Aug 13, 2015 - 11:08PM

    @ Whiskey Khan
    Unreasonable Question Recommend

  • ajeet
    Aug 14, 2015 - 6:11AM

    @Yousef
    Give the same advice to your iron master who has banned burka.Recommend

  • Zee khan
    Aug 17, 2015 - 7:30PM

    Its a time to make friends all seek their own benefits so all neighbour countries r welcome in Pakistan under discipline.
    Mr. Naveed if Iran can ally with USA and india then why not us. Why ur thinking on exact goal of USA and India.we are not giving anything for free to anybody.saudi r also controlled by USA that’s y asking to pak army that fight in yamen against Muslims so that we can’t keep Good relation with Iran. This is the goal of enemies of this belt.Recommend

  • hari
    Sep 10, 2015 - 9:40AM

    Very much diplomatic. In reality Iran doesn’t need to oppose gwadar port as it will become obsolete when Chahbhar port and its connection to central Asia is established as it is most cost effective and safe for even Afghans who could also use the Chinese port of gwadar. But the good thing is that the Gwadar port and CPEC will help the Chinese colonization of Pakistan which will be beneficial to the world.Recommend

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