Pakistan much interested to enhance ties with Iran: Ex-diplomat
– Iran's former deputy foreign minister for Asia and Oceania Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour said on Tuesday that Pakistan heartfelt interest is to develop relations with Iran.
Talking to IRNA on Zarif's visit to Islamabad late on Tuesday, he added that Iran and Pakistan are two neighbors of the country with a common border of about 959 km, which have numerous commonalities in religious, cultural, historical, linguistic and economic issues.
He said that relations between Tehran and Islamabad have always been friendly since the formation of Pakistan, adding that Iran has provided great assistance to Pakistan in several stages, especially the third Pakistan-India war, which caused popular ties between the two countries became deeper.
Noting that different countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the US, have tried at various times to use Pakistan's capacity against Iran, he said popular ties between the two countries led to their failure.
There is great interest in Persian language and literature in Pakistan. Until recently, Persian was the first and main language of the people of this country and even their national anthem is in Persian. There are many poets and writers in Pakistan who have turned to Iran and have written poetry and books in Persian language, including Iqbal Lahouri, he said.
"Pakistan had close relations with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war and worked hard to end the war. The port of Karachi, as the most important port in Pakistan, helped us a lot, and we imported a lot of our goods through these ports in order to be safe from the attack of Iraqi and American ships," he said.
On Zarif's trip to Pakistan, the former diplomat said that neighbors are the first priority of Iran's foreign policy. Iran and Pakistan have a lot of issues with each other in all areas. Their relations are at an excellent level, and this has led the two countries to have ongoing consultations with each other to be conducted at different levels.
Reiterating that Iran has good cooperation with Pakistan in the political, international, economic, cultural, military and security fields, Rahimpour said that unfortunately, despite the efforts made, economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan is not at the desired level.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA