Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in Iran in a bid to defuse tension in the region.
Imran has taken up the task to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran since he last visited Saudi Arabia on September 20.
Imran is also scheduled to visit Riyadh in coming days, but the dates are yet to be finalised, said a Pakistani official.
“The purpose of the visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia is to mediate between the two countries,” added the official.
Tensions have been brewing between Tehran and Riyadh since the September 14 drone attacks on a Saudi oil facility and a processing plant, which had been blamed on Iran by both Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Pakistan and certain other countries have been trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Imran himself acknowledged the mediation efforts when he visited New York to attend the UN General Assembly session last month.
Imran had said that US President Donald Trump also asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran.
Before departing to New York, Prime Minister also made a stopover in Riyadh where he held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
On the sidelines of the UNGA session, Imran had also met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as part of the diplomatic push to defuse the Middle East tensions. To follow up the discussions, Pakistan Prime Minister has arrived in Tehran on Sunday.
He was received by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif upon arrival.
He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday that Prime Minister Imran was undertaking the visit to Tehran “as part of his initiative to promote peace and security in the region.
Imran is scheduled to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as President Hassan Rouhani and will discuss issues relating to peace and security in the Gulf. He will also touch upon bilateral matters and other regional developments including those in Indian Administered Kashmir.
This is Imran’s second visit to Iran this year. In April, he undertook a two-day official trip on President Rouhani’s invitation.
Imran was earlier planning to visit Saudi Arabia soon after Iran’s visit but there has been some changes in his travel plan Russian President Vladimir Putin is arriving in Riyadh on Monday. Therefore, Pakistan Prime Minister will now visit Saudi Arabia sometime next week.