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Iran, Pakistan Defense Officials Discuss Cooperation to Fight Terrorism

By Nigar Bayramli June 17, 2023

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Iranian Deputy Minister of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics Brigadier-General Seyyed Mahdi Farahi and the visiting Defense Secretary of Pakistan Hamood uz Zaman Khan discussed cooperation between the two countries to contain "terror" groups at a meeting in Tehran on June 14. / ILNA News Agency

Iranian Deputy Defense Minister and Pakistani Defense Secretary discussed cooperation between the two countries to contain "terror" groups.

In a meeting with the visiting Defense Secretary of Pakistan Hamood uz Zaman Khan in Tehran on June 14, Iranian Deputy Minister of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics Brigadier-General Seyyed Mahdi Farahi said: "Cooperation between Iran and Pakistan would (seriously) constrain the field of operations for takfiri and terrorist groups."

Farahi noted that improving defence cooperation with Islamabad could strengthen trust and act as a spur to combat "terrorist" organisations like the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) and "separatist groups", according to Iranian Labour News Agency.

The Iranian general criticized the "hegemonic" attitude of the West and the US for driving some of these regional divisions, saying, "the roots of crises can be traced back to the excessive ambitions and expansionist policies of the West and the US."

Referring to allegations of Tehran's involvement in arming Russia against Ukraine, Farahi said, "Iran has consistently opposed war, killings, and infrastructure destruction anywhere in the world."

Farahi highlighted the potential for "direct and indirect utilisation of defence capacities in enhancing economic collaboration", noting the special value of setting up cross-border trade between the two countries.

In turn, the Pakistani official said that in addition to military cooperation, the defense ministries of the two countries could use their potential to expand bilateral economic ties.

The two countries share 904-kilometer-long border. Iran's south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, which has borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to some Sunni extremist groups that are opposed to the Islamic Republic as a Shia theocracy. The province is also an entry point for smuggled drugs and arms.

On June 14, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Iran's intelligence ministry dismantled a "terror" network in Sistan-Baluchestan Province. Two "terrorists" were killed and another arrested, and weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized, according to reports.

In late May, the intelligence forces of the IRGC "identified and destroyed an armed team" in Sistan-Baluchestan. Two "terrorists" were killed and one was arrested and weapons and ammunition were also seized during the operation, IRIB News Agency reported on May 24.

On May 20, the troops serving in the border regiment of Saravan clashed with a group of "terrorists" who were trying to cross the border near Mok-e Sukhteh, located near the Iran-Pakistan border, but were "repelled" by the Iranian forces.

Referring to the clash, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanani described the "terrorist attack" as an "action aimed against the security and interests" of the two countries, saying that these "thuggish and terrorist groups" did not want to allow this border to become a "border of friendship and cooperation".

Jaish Al-Adl is a Sunni Baluchi group active in Sistan-Baluchestan Province and its members are based in Pakistani border areas. Iran accuses Jaish Al-Adl of inciting locals in the province to clash with security forces, and has launched an active campaign to dismantle the group.

In their first trilateral meeting on counter-terrorism in Beijing on June 7, delegations from Pakistan, Iran and China held "detailed discussions on the regional security situation, particularly the threat of terrorism faced by the region".

The three countries decided to institutionalise the trilateral consultations on counter-terrorism and security, for which, further details would be worked out.