During his visit to Iran, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and said that he wished to facilitate and not mediate between Tehran and Riyadh.
Khan arrived in Tehran on Sunday – the first leg of a tour that also includes a stop in Saudi Arabia.
Khan said that a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia should never happen, Geo News reported.
“The issue is complex but can be resolved through dialogue. Pakistan does not want any conflict in the region,” he added.
Khan emphasised that Pakistan did not want a conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia while recognising that it was a complex and complicated issue.
“This visit to Iran and the visit that I will undertake to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday is a Pakistan-led initiative. I will go with a positive mind to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will play the role of a facilitator,” he said, stressing that he was willing to host both countries in Islamabad.
“When I was in New York, I was asked by US President Trump to facilitate these talks and we will do all what we can. We would facilitate so that sanctions can be lifted (and) a nuclear deal can be signed,” Khan said.
The United States and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the assault on the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities which Tehran denied later.
Earlier on Friday, Iranian-flagged oil tanker was damaged by two separate explosions off the Saudi port of Jeddah, raising fears of a further escalation.
The PM also had a bilateral meeting with the President of Iran on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA Session in New York on September 2019.
The mediation initiative is being taken at the request of Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had during Khan’s last visit to Saudi Arabia asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran as Riyadh wanted to avoid war, according to Faisal.
Tensions have been brewing between Tehran and Riyadh since the September 14 drone attacks on a Saudi oil facility and a processing plant.
Last month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Khan said that Donald Trump had asked him to mediate with Iran to defuse tensions in the Middle East, though the US president later suggested that it was the Pakistani premier who approached him and nothing was final.