Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday Donald Trump had asked him to mediate with Iran to defuse tensions, though the US president later suggested it was Khan who approached him and nothing was final.
Khan met Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of this week s United Nations General Assembly, before which he visited Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, whom he said had made the same request.
“Trump asked me that if we could de-escalate the situation and maybe come up with another deal,” Khan told reporters at the gathering of world leaders in New York.
“Yes, we did convey this, and yes, we re trying our best,” he said. “I immediately spoke to President Rouhani yesterday after the meeting with President Trump. I can t say anything right now more than this, except that we re trying and mediating,” he added.
The United States blames Iran for an attack on the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14 and has said they will present evidence to back that up. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has been fighting a Saudi-led military coalition since 2015, has claimed responsibility. Iran denies involvement.
An already-tense relationship between Iran and the United States has worsened over the past year since Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers, saying it did not go far enough, and reimposed sanctions on Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” policy.
In response, Iran has gradually reduced its commitments to limit uranium enrichment activity under the pact and plans further breaches if European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran’s economy from U.S. sanctions.
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