The suicide attack on the famous Imam Hossein Mosque in Chabahar in southeastern Iran last week has snowballed into a major tension in Iran-Pakistan relations. Senior civilian and military officials in Tehran have pointed finger at Pakistan for aiding the Iranian terrorist group Jundullah based in Pakistan. A prominent Iranian politician has now accused Pakistan’s ISI directly.
I can’t recollect Iran finger-pointing at ISI in this manner. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad telephoned Asif Zaradari to ask for handing over the terrorists. But Pakistan’s response is predictable, almost ditto its tactic on Mumbai attacks.
The chief of Iranian armed forces
has warned that Iranian troops will not hesitate to cross the border and attack Jundullah camps. Will that happen? Seems unlikely for the present. Tehran - and Islamabad - knows US is waiting in the wings. Jundullah is a US-Pakistan “joint venture”. Saudis also have an equity in this venture.
Chabahar is the port head for India’s transit route to access Afghanistan and Central Asia. It also happens to be vital for China’s proposed multiple transportation routes to Persian Gulf, Middle East and Africa. Both Pakistan and US are interested in destabilising southeastern Iran. Equally, both are interested in piling pressure on Iran to “back off” when the Afghan endgame is accelerating.
What an irony that under US pressure, our UPA leadership destroyed India-Iran security cooperation and rolled back our broader strategic understanding with Iran on regional stability!
Posted in Terrorism.
– December 23, 2010