EghtesadOnline: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran is ready to mediate between India and Pakistan if asked by the two sides.
According to Pakistan media, however, Zarif has underlined that Iran is not 'volunteering', but stands 'ready'.
According to Pakistan’s 'Dawn News', at an event organized by the 'Observer Research Foundation' in New Delhi, in response to a question on whether Iran will play a role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, Zarif said “we have excellent relations with both India and Pakistan. Pakistan is a very close neighbor and India is a very close partner for Iran, with whom we have historical ties, cultural ties. Many Indians and Pakistanis recite Persian poetry. We cannot lose that bond. That bond is too important to lose both with India and Pakistan.”
“We hope for the best of both countries. If Iran can be of any help to any of them, we stand ready. We are not volunteering, but we stand ready if anything is asked of us. We will be there because these two neighbours are extremely important to us,” IRNA quoted him as saying.
Zarif said that Iran shares “common ideas” and “common vision” with both India and Pakistan in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). “So we all hope we move forward to better relations with our very dear friends, India and Pakistan.”
Zarif is visiting India to attend “Heart of Asia” conference.
The Iranian offer of mediation comes at a time when Adviser to Pakistan prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz is also in India to attend the Heart of Asia ministerial conference, according to Dawn News.