I.R.G.C. Outlet: Iran’s “Military Diplomacy” Forced Pakistan to Take Action against Terrorists

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | May 18, 2017
I.R.G.C. Outlet: Iran’s “Military Diplomacy” Forced Pakistan to Take Action against Terrorists

An article in Tasnim News Agency says Iran’s “military diplomacy” was instrumental in compelling Pakistan to take concrete actions against terrorist groups. “After the attack by terrorist groups that martyred 10 Iranian border guards, it was the powerful words of Major General [Mohammad] Bagheri that made Pakistani political leaders to take practical actions to control the borders,” wrote the outlet, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.). In a tacit criticism of the Rouhani government, Tasnim said that “soft-words diplomacy” and “passive” policy produce no results – arguing that it was Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s strong statements that pressured the Saudi government to submit the bodies of Iranian pilgrims in the past. “This time, our eastern neighbor, facing [Iran’s] powerful diplomacy of decision, took practical measures to do its responsibilities,” it added.

The article in the I.R.G.C.-affiliated outlet refer to Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar’s speech on Tuesday, in which he said that Islamabad was taking effective steps to address cross-border issues with Iran and Afghanistan.

Comment: The killing of 10 Iranian border guards by a Pakistan-based terrorist group strained relations between the two neighbors. On May 9, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned Iran’s ambassador to Islamabad, Mehdi Honardoost, after Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the head of the Iranian armed forces, threatened to attack terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan. “We expect the Pakistani authorities to accept responsibility, control the borders, extradite the terrorists [to Iran], and shut down their bases on their soil,” Bagheri stressed. “If these attacks continue, we will hit terrorists’ sanctuaries and safe havens wherever they are,” he warned. Bagheri also accused Saudi Arabia and the United States of supporting terrorists along the Pakistani-Iranian borders – without providing any evidence.  

Bagheri’s warning came despite the fact that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had agreed in meetings with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad earlier to enhance cooperation to address cross-border terrorism. Pakistani leaders reportedly assured the Iranian delegation that it would deploy additional troops to monitor the shared border. A statement released by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said the two sides agreed to strengthen border security through “better coordination, greater intelligence sharing and frequent interactions” between officials of the two countries.

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