Archive for the 'Iran-Pakistan Relations' Category

Weekly roundup

Articles and reports from the past week
“Pipeline deal with Pakistan part of Iran’s strong push in gas sector”
Iran signed an agreement with Pakistan for a $7.6-billion pipeline connecting the South Pars gas field with Pakistan’s Baluchistan and Sindh provinces (Reuters). Last week, Iran’s Bank Mellat issued a first installment of 1 billion Eurobonds to fund development of the South Pars gas field, and officials announced Iran would spend $1.6 billion on development projects in the gas sector this year (Daily Star).

“Angarsk nuclear fuel bank initiative moving ahead”
The IAEA is moving toward creating an international nuclear fuel bank for the UAE and other emerging nuclear states with 120 tons of LEU from Russia (The National). Russian officials have announced their intention to provide the first batch of LEU by the end of 2010 (RIA Novosti), and India stated its interest in participating as a donor country (RIA Novosti (2)).
Developing nations have opposed fuel bank initiatives in the past, citing concern over their rights to independently develop the nuclear fuel cycle.

“China expanding oil options beyond Iran”
Vivienne Walt writes that a drop in Chinese oil imports from Iran from 500,000 bbl. per day to 250,000 bbl. per day between January 2009 and January 2010 indicates Beijing is looking for alternative sources of oil (Time).
During a visit by British Foreign Minister David Miliband, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi indicated that China remained opposed to sanctions (Reuters).

“Iran offers nuclear fuel exchange” (The National)
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, announced that Iran is prepared to accept a single exchange of 1,200 kg of its LEU for nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. The exchange, however, would be on Iranian soil, a condition that Western powers have previously rejected.

“AQ Khan documents claim Pakistan directly involved in Iran’s nuclear program”
The Washington Post reports on an 11-page document written by nuclear scientist AQ Khan detailing Pakistan’s role in providing nuclear know-how and centrifuge parts (Washington Post).
Simon Henderson, the source of the documents, wrote about his relationship with Khan last year (The Times). ISIS has criticized Khan’s information as “self-serving” and inaccurate (ISIS).


“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

“Impact of Iran bombing on LEU agreement unclear after first day of talks”

“Impact of Iran bombing on LEU agreement unclear after first day of talks”
October 19-21, 2009
     IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei called the first day of talks between Iran, the IAEA, and Russia, France and the US “constructive” despite Iran’s refusal to negotiate with France on the proposed uranium export agreement [previously covered here]. Julian Borger points out that while an agreement between Iran and Russia remains in the works, Tehran’s push to limit both the amount and time spent outside Iran of the exported LEU would undermine the US and French intent of the proposed agreement (Guardian). Massimo Calabresi reports that the US has been negotiating the agreement with the other parties since June after learning through the IAEA that Iran required nuclear fuel for a research reactor. The US has pressed Russia to ensure that the source of the uranium for the agreement come from Iran’s stockpile (Time).
     Ahead of the talks, Iranian leaders accused the US, Britain and Pakistan of being involved in two suicide bombings near the Pakistani border that killed 7 IRGC commanders and over 30 others. The terrorist group Jundallah, which has reportedly received US support, claimed responsibility (New York Times). Kaveh L. Afrasiabi writes that strong suspicion in Tehran of US, British and Israeli complicity in the attacks could undermine recent confidence-building efforts and lead President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to take a harder line against the US (Asia Times Online).
Guardian | Time | New York Times | Asia Times Online

“Finding space for US in Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan bloc”

“Finding space for US in Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan bloc”
May 25-27, 2009
     Saudi Arabian daily Al-Watan reports that at the recent trilateral summit between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistani President Zardari passed a US message to Iran seeking cooperation against terrorism, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Tehran promised to consider the proposal (MEMRI). Kaveh L. Afrasiabi writes that the trilateral summit, which resulted in the Tehran Declaration, will have positive effects for future Iran-US talks (Asia Times), and the Khaleej Times urges the US and NATO to engage the new regional bloc to work toward stabilizing Afghanistan (Khaleej Times).
     However, the summit also featured criticisms of US and foreign military troops in the region by both Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Khamenei (Payvand, Tehran Times) Michael Slackman writes that the summit was an attempt to prove that the 3 states could resolve their problems without relying on the West, adding that regional concerns have trumped Western efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program (New York Times).
MEMRI | Asia Times | Khaleej Times | Payvand | Tehran Times | New York Times