Iran does not seek escalation: Pak FM

IRNA — Pakistani Foreign Minister said at the end of his visit to Washington on Saturday that Pakistan does not claim to be a mediator but Pakistani Government calls for de-escalation between Tehran and Washington.

Addressing a press conference at Pakistan Embassy in Washington Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan wants the region not to be engulfed in a new war.

He visited Tehran and Riyadh before going to Washington.

He further said that Pakistan is playing a role for peace and warned that the global economy will suffer a lot if a new war starts in the Middle East.

He said that the Iranians do not want to escalate things. “They don´t want war, they don´t want further bloodshed,” Qureshi said.

The foreign minister said that the Iranian leadership has shown a willingness to ease tensions with its Arab neighbors.

The Iranians “highlighted the issues, the differences, they have had with other important countries in the region,” he said.

“They said they are willing to engage at any level and in any format,” Qureshi said.

Tensions increased in the region following the assassination of IRGC Quds force commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as Hash al-Shaabi, Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes by the US in targeted airstrike against their motorcade in Baghdad airport on 3rd January.

Later Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Al Anbar province in western Iraq in response to the US strikes.