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February 18, 2014 / khawjaimtiazalam

Nuclear Iran is not in Pakistan’s interest

Nuclear Iran is not in Pakistan’s interest

On December 13, 2011 The News “Blog”

Since the International Atomic Energy Agency issued its latest findings on Iran’s

nuclear program and activities, policy-makers in the West and the United States

in particular are weighing their options on how to respond to Iran’s continued

defiance of its Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations.

The Islamic Republic’s nuclear program has possible military dimensions and its

stated “peacefulness” lacks credibility. Alarm bells in Israel have been ringing for a

long time and a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites seems imminent. Not much

is being discussed in Pakistan about the implications of a nuclear Iran, precisely due

to Pakistan being consumed by its own problems with the on-going political turmoil

and its relations with the United States.

This is an alarming development not only for the geopolitical balance in the

Middle East, but also for South Asia. A nuclear Iran is not in Pakistan’s interests.

Considering that Iran’s regional interests do not align with those of Pakistan, a

nuclear Iran has serious implications of greater belligerent behaviour, regional

hegemony and bullying. Even though Pakistan is a nuclear state and any nuclear

aggression towards us will be deterred, it would immensely reduce our leverage

in relations with Iran—if any.

Being the only Muslim nuclear country, a nuclear Pakistan still has some symbolic

value in the eyes of the Muslim world. Even though we are economically weak

and, at the behest of foreign financial institutions and governments, our national

defence posture will take a deep slide with a nuclear armed state on our western

border.

The interests of Pakistan and Iran clash in Afghanistan, and Iran’s relations with

our key ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, remain rocky. In the event of a

military confrontation between Iran and the West, Pakistan and an unstable Iraq

would be the most effected countries due to the spill-over from a potential war.

At this time and most likely in the near future, at least Pakistan cannot further

bear the burden of a refugee influx. In addition, India’s improving relations with

Iran is also mind-boggling for our India-centric attitude and policy. Not that I am

justifying this historic posture of ours, this attitude is still wide-spread in the security

establishment. We must take that into account.

An ideologically inclined state, Iran’s sectarian outlook and ambitions of regional

hegemony will create further divides in the Muslim world and the Middle East

in particular. One should also not forget that Iran has played a role in inciting

sectarian violence in Pakistan, supporting various Shia factions against their Sunni

counterparts. Attaining nuclear status would strengthen Iran’s position and possibly

its belligerence in fuelling the sectarian strife.

Iran’s offensive, nonsensical and aggravating statements and position only furthers

the prospect of more wars in this region. Just recently,Saudi Arabia Prince Turki

al-Faisal, who was the former chief of Saudi Intelligence, expressed the Kingdom’s

desire to develop nuclear weapons to counter a future Iranian threat. “It is our duty

toward our nation and people to consider all options” he was quoted as saying.

This is a serious development that could spark a potential arms race in the Middle

East. We could engage in an intellectual debate about the rationality of these state

actors and their willingness to use nuclear weapons—if they attain the capability—

but the thought of them going nuclear sends a chill through the rational mind. Many

in the West also fear that a nuclear Iran will become bolder in the use of its proxies,

namely Hamas and Hezbollah.

It is imperative that Pakistan convene a meeting of the Organization of Islamic

Conference (OIC) to pressure Iran into abandoning its continued defiance of its

international obligations – the NPT and the United Nations Security Council

Resolutions. Pakistan, along with its allies in the Middle East, should pressure

Iran to come to the negotiation table and respect its UN obligations. To avoid a

potential arms race in the Middle East and a dooms-day scenario where there may be

a nuclear exchange – either by states or through non-state actors – Pakistan should

jump on the bandwagon into pressurizing Iran.

Pakistan could not care less about addressing the fears of the West. I suggest this

because this is in Pakistan’s vital national security interests and everything should

be done to avoid being sandwiched between two nuclear states. We also need to look

out for our regional interests in the Middle East. A nuclearised region could have

devastating human and economic implications for the region and the world. Pakistan

cannot afford either in its current state of weakness.

on 

I agree with the writer. Iran is an Ideological State with a predominant Shia majority. Its Ideology

is in conflict with the Islamic Ideology of other Sunni States. Saudi Arabia has not made any

bones about it. Iran continues to threaten the Kingdom and bring about strife to the Holiest of all

Muslim shrines where nearly 2.5 million Muslims undoubtedly Sunni’s go for the Hajj , one of the

Pillars of Islam.

Iran is like an Island surrounded by Ideological Sunni States. It feels threatened by the Islamic

Resurgence especially in Afghanistan.It is afraid that with passage of time the moderates will

take over. It is overbearing when it comes to supporting Shia factions in other Muslin States. The

month of Muharram is when it shows its muscle by supporting Shia organizations all around the

World in taking out Processions etc. In Pakistan itself we remain shutdown for ten days. The 9th

& 10th Muharram the State is taken over by them.

Unfortunately those who talk about Wahabism etc have no knowledge of what they themselves

are following.

The writer has correctly pointed out that a nuclear Iran is not in Pakistan’s interests. Considering

that Iran’s regional interests do not align with those of Pakistan, a nuclear Iran has serious

implications of greater belligerent behaviour, regional hegemony and bullying. Even though

Pakistan is a nuclear state and any nuclear aggression towards us will be deterred, it would

immensely reduce our leverage in relations with Iran—if any.

In case of a conflict with Iran & Saudia Arabia Pakistan will certainly fall with the lot of Saudi’s

and will be drawn in a Nuclear War.The present Govt is planning to help Iran in its Nuclear

Program which will be a great mistake.

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