Addressing the Iran-Pakistan trade meeting in Karachi on the third day
of his trip to Pakistan on Tuesday, the official said: "Iran is proud to
be the first country in the world that recognized Pakistan as a country."
Referring to the 70-year-old friendship between Iran and Pakistan, he
said: "Regardless of political relations between governments, the people
of the two countries have always loved each other."
He said Iranian officials have always viewed Pakistan not just as a
neighbor, but have an emotional inclination towards it, adding Iran will never
allow Pakistani interests to be compromised, and "we are confident that Pakistan
has exercises a similar approach towards Iran."
Zarif said that "we are trying to expand the economic relations
between the two countries for the public and private sector businessmen,"
saying, "we can cooperate with Pakistan in different sectors."
"Iran can be a reliable energy supplier for Pakistan," he stressed.
Referring to Iran's investment of more than $2 billion to build its
share of a gas pipeline to Pakistan, he said: "We hope that the Pakistani
people will benefit from Iranian gas by completing the IP pipeline in Pakistan."