Now, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is in Tehran having offered to mediate between the two countries to help bring about peace talks, despite the fact Islamabad has its own conflict with India over the Kashmir region. Pakistan will do its utmost to enable talks between arch regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, Khan said on Sunday, adding he will travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. “Pakistan does not want conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia…I am happy to facilitate talks between Tehran and Riyadh…I am very hopeful as I had constructive talks with the (Iranian) president,” Khan told a joint news conference with President Hassan Rouhani, broadcast live on state TV.
Khan arrived in Tehran on Sunday and he will later meet Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Pakistani Prime Minister said he wanted to act as a “facilitator” for talks not a “mediator”, claiming that no-one asked him to help with talks, rather that it was a “Pakistani initiative.”
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been enemies in the Middle East, grappling over influence in the region.
Tehran launched a devastating attack of two Saudi oil plants last month, although Iran President Rouhani denies involvement stating that it was the Houthi Rebels (who have claimed responsibility) who were the actors behind the strikes.
Western countries including the US have supported Riyadh claims that the strikes were in fact derived from Iran.
Iran was struck by a missile strike too this week, as an oil tanker Sabiti was left in flames by drone strikes.
Government spokesmen have refused to lay blame to a specific party, but have promised an “appropriate response” to what they described a “cowardly attack.”
Khan visits the Middle East at a time where Pakistan is embroiled in its own conflict with India over the disputed Kashmir region.
The region is one of the most heavily militarised in the world, patrolled by soldiers and paramilitary police. Most Kashmiris resent the Indian troop presence and support the rebels.
Last month, India Pakistan tensions escalated when Khan hinted at an ‘accidental nuclear war’ between the two.
He said: “If say Pakistan, God forbid, we are fighting a conventional war, we are losing, and if a country is stuck between the choice: either you surrender or you fight ‘til death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom.
“So when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, to the death, it has consequences.”