Wed, 18 Sep 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in Islamabad, amid growing tensions between Tehran and Washington.

On arrival in the Pakistani capital on May 23, Zarif called on the international community to take steps to counter U.S. 'aggressive' and 'bullying approach' against Iran, according to Fars.

'Currently our region is in a very critical situation and dangerous measures are being formed in the region, so we need consultations with all our neighbors,' Zarif said.

In a statement, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said that 'the situation in the region is serious and needs to be addressed through dialogue by all parties.'

'We expect all sides to show restraint, as any miscalculated move, can transmute into a large-scale conflict,' the ministry added.

Relations between Tehran and Washington have plummeted since President Donald Trump a year ago pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear accord between world powers and Iran that curbed the country's nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions.

Since then, Washington has stepped up its rhetoric and reimposed sanctions.

Earlier this month, the United States beefed up its military presence in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, citing 'imminent threats' from Iran, prompting growing concerns of a possible military conflict with Iran.

Tehran denied the allegations.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani on May 23 said that his country will not surrender to U.S. pressure even if it is bombed.

With reporting by AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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