Pakistan’s Imran Khan welcomes possible U.S. return to Iran deal


TEHRAN – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden decides to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, it would be in Pakistan’s interest.

In an interview with a Pakistani news channel GNN, Imran Khan said he strongly believed that a U.S. return to the Iran nuclear deal would open new opportunities for enhancing trade between Iran and Pakistan, IRNA reported on Friday.

Biden has recently told France’s President Emmanuel Macron that he would like the U.S. to once again work with its European ally on Iran nuclear policy.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and imposed the “toughest ever” economic sanctions on Iran. Trump’s Iran policy has been described by observers as an abject failure.

“The American society is divided and we have to see how their politicians handle this situation in the post-election period,” Khan said.

The prime minister said what is important for Pakistan is the future U.S. administration’s policy towards the developments in the subcontinent, Kashmir issues, Iran and the Zionist regime.

The Pakistani prime minister described the policies adopted by Trump’s administration on West Asia issues, including Iran and the Zionist regime, as controversial.

“Trump’s opposition to the outcome of the presidential election and his support from the people clearly shows the division in American society,” he remarked. “It remains to be seen what the future policy of the United States will be, whether they will be inclined towards the Zionist regime, this is the main issue.”

The remarks came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Islamabad to discuss regional issues, the Muslim world, international affairs, and the promotion of bilateral relations.

During his visit, Zarif met with Chief of Pakistan’s Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He also met with Prime Minister Khan.

In his meeting with the prime minister, Zarif thanked Pakistan for supporting Iran’s bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Zarif and Khan also exchanged views about international and regional developments, especially issues related to Afghanistan and the broader Islamic world.

The Pakistani leader said his country is interested to develop economic and political ties with Iran. The two sides also expressed hope to strengthen ties between the two neighboring countries.

Iran’s chief diplomat also praised the Pakistani prime minister’s stance on the issue of normalizing ties with the Zionist regime of Israel.

Prime Minister Khan said in September that normalization with Israel is “pointless”.

In his interview, the prime minister also tacitly did not reject efforts by certain non-Muslim and Muslim countries pressuring Islamabad to normalize ties with Israel, saying his country has good relations with some of these countries. 

“Some remarks cannot be uttered and we should ignore them. We have good relations with some of these countries. We don’t want to upset them”.

Days after a ceremony that was held at the White House, during which the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements to fully normalize ties with Israel, Khan told reporters, “We can’t make a decision on a matter that has been rejected by its owners, the Palestinian people.” He added, “The Palestinians, the owners of the cause, were deprived from their lands and rights.” 

MH/PA

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