Following the recent tensions between Iran and Pakistan, it is estimated that the two countries have now the chance to turn the threat into an opportunity to unite against terrorism.
Last week was a time of tension between two neighboring and friendly countries of Iran and Pakistan. In response to several attacks by terrorists located in the territory of Pakistan against Iran in the past few months, the Islamic Republic fired missiles at the whereabouts of the Jash-Al-Adl terrorists to give them a hard time confronting with one of the big powers of the Middle East region. In reaction, Pakistan also attacks spots inside Iran where the Pakistani government believed were the whereabouts of terrorists.
Despite the initial conclusion that one can make out of the tit-for-tat game between Tehran and Islamabad, the new and unprecedented tension between the two neighbors can in fact lead to more cooperation in the field of fighting terrorism. In other words, both countries can turn this challenge into an opportunity to extend security cooperation among them.
In most countries in the world, the armed forces are the foreign policy tools of the countries and do not have a policy position by themselves. But this law does not apply to Pakistan, and the political forces of this country are in the service of Pakistan’s national army.
Pakistan’s retaliation was an inevitable strategy to show strength to historical rivals. Pakistani officials believe that Iran’s missile and drone attack weakened Pakistan’s strategic deterrence in the South Asian region and therefore required a proportionate response. In fact, Pakistan’s attacks are evaluated to establish its deterrence against India, which is Pakistan’s traditional rival.
Iran’s attack on Pakistan was also strategically necessary as it was to protect national security of Iran. It also sent an important message to Israel and Saudi Arabia; Israel has nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia is also trying to become nuclear. By attacking a nuclear country (Pakistan), Iran actually warned Israel and Saudi Arabia that even if a nuclear country poses a security threat to the Islamic Republic, it will face a decisive military response from Tehran.
A chance of more security cooperation out of a one-week tense conflict
The conflict between Pakistan and Iran was indeed a new experience in the region to open new deterrent options that will have definite results for Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.
Last but not least, Iran and Pakistan can create an opportunity from this temporary threat and take into account the vacuum of a security agreement between them. Considering the new security agreement between the US and Pakistan early in August, and for maintaining the common interests of both neighboring countries, as well as the collapse of the world order due to the membership of Iran and Pakistan in the Shanghai Pact, Iran should sign a security agreement with Pakistan.
This is especially feasible because both Iran and Pakistan hold the same view of the US. They believe that the US presence in every country and region has ultimately strengthened terrorism and undermined security in that country or region. Therefore, in the shadow of this tension created between Iran and Pakistan, and the mediating presence of China, the two neighboring countries can think of a strategic security agreement.
In order to persuade Pakistan to sign such an agreement, Iran can go beyond the common threat of terrorists and can use Pakistan’s long-standing enmity with India as a leverage. no need to mention that New Delhi is now the main ally of Washington and Tel Aviv. Therefore, by emphasizing on confronting common enemies, Tehran pave the way for a new ear of security cooperation with Islamabad.