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Iran keen to join CPEC to strenghthen ties with Pakistan and China

Iran keen to join CPEC to strenghthen ties with Pakistan and China

Pakistan, Iran and China alliance would focus on regional connectivity, mutual trade and changing regional and international situations

Iran has expressed its willingness to join the China-Pakis­tan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to form a new regional coalition for regional peace and stability.

Pakistan, Iran and China alliance would focus on regional connectivity, mutual trade and changing regional and international situations, expressed Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Iran Parliament’s committee on national security and foreign policy, who was on a three-day visit to Islamabad.

Boroujerdi, who is also advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said Pakistan, Iran, China and Russia are natural allies who should cooperate for regional peace and promotion of bilateral trade.

“CPEC is a project of huge potential and Iran has already welcomed it. Iran and Pakistan can jointly work for the progress and prosperity of the people of both countries through bilateral trade, promotion of peace and people-to-people contacts. Pakistan and Iran can jointly work to meet the quantum of Chinese trade through the sister ports of Gwadar and Chabahar,” he added.

Mr Boroujerdi said Iran did not consider the Saudi-led military alliance as against it. Many countries included in the alliance, he noted, were friendly with Iran. He said Pakistan and Iran needed to “sit together” for resolving issues in their relationship.

Boroujerdi held wide-ranging talks with Pakistani authorities including Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, told reporters that new alliances would be formed in the wake of victory of Donald Trump in the recent US presidential elections.

“Iran is eager to join CPEC with its full capabilities, possibilities and abilities,” Iran’s Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost said while speaking at the Oxbridge Lecture.

Iran could contribute significantly to CPEC, Mr Honardoost said, adding that Iran’s rich energy resources, well-developed transport infrastructure would add to CPEC once it joins it. Moreover, Mr Honardoost expected that some other countries could follow Iranian example and join CPEC after its entry.

“Iran believes our region should not be under the dark shadows of tensions and friction. We don’t look at CPEC as just a trade, business and economic project. It is about peace and tranquillity in the region. It could help address many issues in this region,” the envoy noted.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani first expressed interest in joining the CPEC during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in September last year.

China welcomed Iran’s interest and its envoy in Islamabad Sun Weidong has said that his country is awaiting Iranian inclusion in the project. Pakistan too has described it as a “good step”.

Pakistan, Iran agree to increase trade to $5 billion

Pakistan and Iran have agreed to raise the volume of bilateral trade to five billion dollars, said Alaeddin Boroujerdi.

Boroujerdi also declared that Pakistan’s Gwadar port and Iran’s Chahbaha are sister ports which will enhance bilateral trade. He indicated that Iran wished to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and that Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline was the main priority.

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