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Pakistan’s Khan Says He’s Been Asked to Mediate in Gulf

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says the US and Saudi Arabia have invited him to mediate talks aimed at reducing tensions with Iran in the Gulf. In New York to attend the opening of the 74th UN General Assembly, Khan said he had already spoken with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but added nothing more. In a related development, a government spokesman in Tehran says the Islamic Republic might be ready to talk about changes to the 2015 multilateral pact, whose objective has been to bar it from developing nuclear weapons. Yet those changes, according to Ali Rabiei, who appeared Wednesday on state television, would be contingent on Washington’s return to the agreement and its cancellation of crippling economic sanctions. “If the sanctions are ended and there is a return to the accord,” Rabiei said, “there is room for giving reassurances toward breaking the deadlock, and the President [Rouhani] even has a proposal for small changes in the accord.” The Trump Administration backed out of the deal in May 2018, complaining that it left too many holes regarding nuclear arms, and also ignored Iran’s program for developing missiles that could deliver them. With regard to the missiles, IRNA, the country’s official news agency, quoted Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Wednesday as saying that there would be nothing to talk about.