Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who traveled to Tehran to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday. The Supreme Leader praised the Pakistani government’s concern for peace and security, saying, “the Islamic Republic of Iran has for a long time presented a four-point plan to end the war in Yemen.” He added, “the end of this war in the proper way can have positive effects on the region.”
During the meeting, Khamenei called the West Asian region “very serious,” emphasizing the care of everyone in the region not to create any more incidents. He also expressed regret for “some regional countries’ support for terrorism and bloodshed in Iraq and the war in Yemen.”
Khamenei added, “we have no motivation for being hostile toward these countries, but they are under the influence of America and act against the Islamic Republic of Iran in line with what America desires. If someone starts a war against Iran, they will undoubtedly regret it.”
The Iranian leader also said that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s view of Pakistan is a brotherly neighbor and that the relations between the two countries should be much warmer and better than the existing one. border security should be improved and long-term plans, such as the gas pipeline, must be completed.
Imran Khan also emphasized the expansion of cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad, saying, “we have opened a special account with Iran, which we consider Iran as an important trading partner.” There has been no news of Khan’s proposal or plan for stripping Tehran-Riyadh relations.
Prior to the Pakistani prime minister’s arrival in Tehran, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry had said that the country was ready to negotiate with or without a mediator to resolve misunderstandings with its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia. “Pakistan does not want conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. I am happy to facilitate talks between Tehran and Riyadh,” said Khan.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, as two political-religious rivals in the region, accuse each other of interfering in Yemen’s internal affairs. Iran supports the Houthi rebels in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia is leading a military alliance that supports the government. The war is known as a proxy war between Tehran and Riyadh.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a news conference that “any effort based on goodwill is welcomed … during the meeting, we agreed that the regional issues can be resolved through diplomacy and through dialogue between countries.”
The leader of the Islamic Republic had met with Yemen’s Ansarullah delegation two months earlier. Khamenei called on the delegation to “stand firm against the Saudi and UAE plotting to disintegrate Yemen”. “The Islamic Republic’s position in support of the world’s oppressed, especially the Yemeni people, is a religious one,” he said at the meeting.