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Iran has flayed the US over its new South Asia policy and has asked that country to end interference in the affairs of other countries. Tehran, who has many tiffs with Washington to include the nuclear crisis and rivalries in Syria, Iraq, and over Israel, said that the US must abandon its subversive policies in the region.

Trump cleared the way for the additional deployment of combatants to ‘kill terrorists’. He censured Pakistan for allegedly providing safe havens to terrorists, warning it of reprisals. Trump went a step further by inviting India to shoulder responsibilities in Afghanistan.

The civilian and military leadership have given a concerted, clear and tough rejoinder to the US. Pakistan could do with a more-friendly Iran, one that could possibly end its alliance with India

“What the US today is condemning other countries for is the very outcome of its own wrong and irrational policies over the years in the region and particularly in Afghanistan,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi said.

Iran is also spreading its tentacles in Afghanistan; it is strengthening the hands of the Taliban. It is the third country after China and Russia which has chided US new policy. Though Iran has not directly named Pakistan, the fact that a pro-India policy has been brushed aside is an encouraging sign for Islamabad.

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Washington’s “opportunistic strategies and unilateral policies, coupled with its interventions, have only intensified chaos and tension and spread terrorism and extremism across the region,” Qassemi added.

Cornering a business-minded strategic partnership

Much to the delight of Pakistan, Iran spoke twice over the course of as many weeks in June regarding the Kashmir cause and the oppression that is being meted out

At a time when the battle lines are being drawn over the issue of Afghanistan, Iran’s statement is important and noteworthy. Despite being an Indian ally, Iran’s criticism of the new Afghan policy which, in all earnestness has put India in a central position, is a setback to India. The transactional and bizarre nature of Trump’s offer to India has not gone down well with Iran. Qassemi added: “The countries of the region have the required capacity to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and maintain stability and security in their own region.”

The fact that an increased role for India precludes the possibility of appeasing Beijing and Islamabad, Qassemi’s statement is ostensibly taking a dig at plucking out India to stabilize Afghanistan. Qassemi further said:” Regional countries do not need American’s destabilizing and terrorist breeding policies.”

Read more: The winners and losers in Trump’s Afghan Strategy – 1

Iran expressed concerns over Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi military alliance. Pakistan has not only assuaged Tehran’s fears but also has offered good offices to arbitrate between Tehran and Riyadh

Trump thinks like a businessman; he virtually said that India accrues billions from its partnership with us, hence it must share the cost of war. With the policy being chastised by friends and foes alike, it remains to be seen as to how the Taliban will be pushed back and Pakistan be cut to its size. If anything, Pakistan has solicited much-needed support after the announcement of the new policy.

Time to mend fences

Pakistan and Iran have had some uneasy days in their relations lately. Both forces have exchanged fire on the border; Pakistan shot down two Iranian drones in June. But the real source of tensions has been Iran’s ties with India and those of Pakistan with Saudi Arabia. Iran expressed concerns over Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi military alliance. Pakistan has not only assuaged Tehran’s fears but also has offered good offices to arbitrate between Tehran and Riyadh.

Despite being an Indian ally, Iran’s criticism of the new Afghan policy which, in all earnestness has put India in a central position, is a setback to India

Much to the delight of Pakistan, Iran spoke twice over the course of as many weeks in June regarding the Kashmir cause and the oppression that is being meted out. This sent shock waves in Delhi as Iran had over the years abstained from talking about Kashmir openly.

Read more: Pakistan slams the US; calls for immediate action against sanctuaries in…

Delhi’s strengthened ties with Iran’s nemeses in Washington and Tel Aviv contributed toward this move by Iran. Pakistan must take this opportunity to paper-over differences with Iran, which are even otherwise not grave. Iran’s statement will add to Pakistan’s confidence in dealing with the upsurge in US pressure. The civilian and military leadership have given a concerted, clear and tough rejoinder to the US. Pakistan could do with a more-friendly Iran, one that could possibly end its alliance with India, should the latter continue to foster ties with Israel and the US.

1 COMMENT

  1. Iran brought India to Afghanistan before Trump could ever do. Iran is working closely with India in Afghanistan since 1980, after the Shah was removed and the clerics seized power.

    Iran has turned down Pakistani offers to work together in Afghanistan to safeguard both Pakistani & Iranian interests. Iran consistently preferred to work with India in Afghanistan and continues to do so.

    So, before Trump could bring India to Afghanistan, Iran is already in bed with India in Afghanistan.

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