Iran’s security chief says coalition against Islamic states is ‘futile’

January 21, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN - Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told Pakistan’s army chief on Tuesday that coalition against Islamic countries is “futile” and will not last.

Shamkhani was indirectly referring to a so-called Saudi-led Islamic coalition which claims to fight against miltants such as Daesh and al Qaeda.

There is serious skepticism about the intension of the coalition as many countries consider Saudi Arabia itself as a supporter of extremist groups. Pakistan, which had not been informed about its inclusion in the 34-nation coalition, has announced that it will not be in the coalition if it is against a third country.

Iran and some other countries in the region view the Saudi-proclaimed coalition as a plot to further destabilize security in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

“Creation of a regional alliance with the involvement and consent of all the countries is the only effective strategy to establish security,” Shamkhani said during his meeting with General Raheel Sharif.

General Sharif visited Iran on Tuesday along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia which their relations have deteriorated after Iran’s strong protest to the execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Shamkhani said the rise of tension among Islamic countries only benefits the enemies of Islam and will empower the terrorist groups.

He also said that Iran and Pakistan’s military capability has been a preemptive element against many foreign plots and will serve the interests of the world of Islam and regional stability and unity.

For his part, General Sharif called for joint campaign against terrorist threats to the region and Iran-Pakistan border areas.

He also highlighted the importance of expanding ties and cooperation with Tehran.

------Iran urges Pakistan to counter elements of insecurity

In a separate meeting with General Sharif on Tuesday, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan urged Pakistan to counter elements that undermine security in border areas.

Dehqan also said terrorism can be countered through regional countries’ unity, cooperation and collaborative efforts.

The defense minister also said that Pakistan has an important status in Iran’s foreign and defense policy.

He attached importance to bilateral cooperation in establishing regional security and stability.

The Pakistani army chief also called for expansion of ties in fighting terrorism.