Back channel exercise for Modi-Imran meet in Saudi Arabia?

Clay Curtis
October 16, 2019

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan meets with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, Tuesday, October 15, during his visit to Saudi Arabia, two days after he visited Iran on a mission to defuse tensions between Riyadh and Tehran.

Trump reimposed economic sanctions and in May his administration said it would unilaterally force all countries to stop buying Iran's oil, one of Tehran's main sources of wealth.

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed responsibility, but USA officials blamed Tehran and charged that the rebels did not have the range or sophistication to target the facilities.

Doha is an ally of Washington, but also has good relations with Tehran that has helped it overcome a political and economic boycott by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies over accusations the tiny kingdom backs the Islamic republic and extremists.

Iranian state television reported the alleged attack resulted in an oil leak, which they say was later plugged.

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New imagery published by al-Arabiya show a trail of oil spillage for tens of miles.

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman this year, which it denies. They didn't address the oil spill.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said, "I told Prime Minster Imran we welcome any gesture by Pakistan for peace in the region and appreciate his visit to our country".

Addressing the expiration of the four-month FATF deadline for Iran, Zarif said "considerable measures have been taken to get prepared for the next FATF summit and the foreign ministry will do its best to prevent the country from incurring losses".

According to the obtained data, the attack was carried out by one or several governments, said Zarif, adding that Iran will refrain from making any accusations for now as the investigation is still in progress. Saudi Arabia denies being involved in the incident.

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