“Pakistan a potential missing link for sanctions, military action against Iran”

“Pakistan a potential missing link for sanctions, military action against Iran”
December 15, 2009
     As Western leaders continue to warn Iran of potential sanctions, Irfan Husain writes that any new sanctions would place an “intolerable burden” on tense Iran-Pakistan relations. Husain argues that sanctions would require Islamabad, already concerned with threats from Afghanistan and India, to secure its long and porous Iranian border to stop illegal sanctions-busting trade, a move that would trigger domestic opposition from smugglers and supporters of Iran. Adding that Islamabad relies on Iranian support in confronting India, Husain argues that the US should not expect to be able to use Pakistani territory in the event of a military campaign against Iran.
Daily Star


1 Response to ““Pakistan a potential missing link for sanctions, military action against Iran””

  1. 1 William deB. Mills December 25, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Many thanks for bringing Irfan Husain’s important perspective about the openness of the Iranian-Pakistani border to our attention. Several points about this issue come to mind:

    1. Baluchistan is of course a long-standing powder keg, and striking a spark there would certainly undermine regional stability.

    2. Since the Chinese are deeply involved in economic development in Baluchistan, this is one more reason why China is unlikely to support sanctions against Iran.

    3. Pakistan has strategic concerns related to Iran that may balance off any bilateral tensions: as the first Islamic nuclear power, Pakistan might well wish to see Iran’s formal right to nuclear technology accepted by the world because forcing Iran to accept discriminatory rules could be seen in Islamabad as the first step toward a new international rule that effectively says “no nukes for the Muslim world.”

    Washington would do well to think carefully about local realities on the Pak-Iranian border and also to start making a clear distinction between Iran’s undeniable legal right to peaceful nuclear technology and the issue of militarization. Washington’s tendency to blur this distinction only strengthens Iran’s case.

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