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Saudi Arabia seeks Pakistani mediation with Iran

September 26, 2019 at 12:46 am

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan [Wikipedia]

Saudi Arabia and the United States (US) have called on the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, to help defuse tensions with Iran.

Khan yesterday said that he was “acting as a mediator” with Iran at the request of the US President Donald Trump and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

“I immediately spoke to President Rouhani yesterday after the meeting with President Trump,” Khan told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly which was held in New York.

“I can’t say anything right now more than this except that we’re trying and mediating,” he added.

Read: Russia’s Duma advises Saudi Arabia to change defence systems after attack on Aramco

The Pakistani leader pointed out that he was in Saudi Arabia before New York, explaining that he had spoken with Bin Salman, who also asked him to talk to Rouhani.

An already-tense relationship between Iran and the US has worsened over the past year since Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers and re-imposed sanctions on Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” policy.

In response, Iran has gradually reduced its commitments to limit uranium enrichment activity under the pact and plans further breaches if European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran’s economy from US sanctions.

Washington blames Tehran for an attack on the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia on 14 September and has said they will present evidence to back that up. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has been fighting a Saudi-led military coalition since 2015, has claimed responsibility. Iran denies involvement.