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                                        Volume. 11885

India overtaking Pakistan in Iran ties: journalist
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India has become a closer partner to the Islamic Republic than New Delhi’s archrival Pakistan, as Islamabad has failed to take cognizance of new regional opportunities, an analyst says, Press TV reports.
 
“Despite being a Muslim-majority country, Pakistan’s illogical foreign policy has been preventing a rapprochement with Iran,” Yusuf Fernandez wrote in an article on Press TV on Wednesday.
 
He went on to enumerate the reasons why Pakistan has fallen behind its traditional ally, India, in forging a closer relationship with Iran.
 
Pointing to the multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, Fernandez said, “Islamabad has so far failed to look for the required funding for the project, due to the threat of sanctions from the U.S, even though the pipeline agreement stipulates that Pakistan must finish its side of the facility by December 2014.”
 
As a result, the journalist added, “On December 14, Iran announced that it had suspended a 250-million-dollar loan to Pakistan to build” its part of the IP project.
 
“To make matters worse, Pakistan was reported last month to have built nuclear weapons for Saudi Arabia, which would be a threat for Iran, and to be ready to ship them,” Fernandez said.
 
He added, however, that while it will be difficult for both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to avoid the repercussions of the act, “the publication of this news has highlighted the close links between the Pakistani government and the Saudi monarchy.”
 
The journalist also pointed to a November attack in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province, which killed at least 14 Iranian border guards, and cited “French sources, well-informed about the dossier of the terrorist Salafi groups that are supported by Saudi Arabia” as having “told Lebanese channel Al-Manar that Saudi Arabia had ordered the attack.”
 
“The French sources told Al-Manar that the Saudi intelligence had recently spent huge amounts of money to fund the Jaishul al Adl group, but the weak human Saudi resources do not allow the Saudi intelligence to take direct care of this group. This might have led the Saudis to employ the Pakistani intelligence to do so,” Fernandez added.
 
In addition to the fatalities, three others were wounded in the attack on the border region near the city of Saravan in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on October 25.
 
  “Due to all these factors,” Fernandez said, “Pakistan is now not in a good position to take advantage of the new position of Iran in the region after the signature of the nuclear deal. The Pakistani government’s doubts about the pipeline contract and its submission to the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are damaging its links with its neighbor and prevent it from collecting the accompanying benefits of Iran’s future development,” Fernandez concluded.
 
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain and the U.S. - plus Germany sealed a nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24.
 
“For its part, India, Pakistan’s rival, has welcomed the nuclear deal struck by Iran and the world’s six major powers,” the analyst said, adding that the removal of the sanctions on Iran would provide India, Iran’s second largest oil purchaser, with better opportunities to meet its energy needs.
 
“Strategically, it is important for India to maintain a close relationship with Teheran. India and Iran oppose a Taliban government in Kabul and could coordinate their political positions to prevent it. Iran is India’s only corridor for land access to Afghanistan through which most of Indian assistance to Afghanistan could be transported,” Fernandez said.
 
(Source: Press TV)

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