“At the time of the start of the government, bilateral relations with Iran may not have been satisfactory, but today I can say that there are excellent relations between the two countries,” the prime minister said, according to IRNA.
He made the remarks in a meeting with researchers and senior media officials on Monday.
Referring to Islamabad’s independent foreign policy in strengthening relations with neighboring and friendly countries, Imran Khan said that in recent years, Iran and Pakistan have established a good understanding to strengthen relations.
However, he said, “Unfortunately, Iran faces sanctions that hamper expansion of trade cooperation with Pakistan.”
The prime minister has on several occasions called for the lifting of US sanctions on Iran.
In March 2020, he urged Trump to lift the unilateral bans in the midst of Iran’s fight against the spread of the coronavirus until the pandemic is over.
“I want to appeal to President Trump on humanitarian grounds to lift the sanctions against Iran till the COVID19 pandemic is over,” Khan said.
He added that at a time when “the people of Iran are facing untold suffering”, the brutal US sanctions on the Islamic Republic “are crippling Iran’s efforts to fight COVID-19.”
Speaking at the International Conference on Peace and Development in South Asia and the Middle East in Islamabad in late October, Khan said Pakistan could benefit from Iran's economic potential if anti-Iranian sanctions were lifted and relations between Tehran and Washington improved.
Expressing hope for the resumption of talks between Iran and the West, he stressed, "If the sanctions are lifted, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the capacity to become a real economic power in the region."