The Iranian-Pakistani cooperation is delayed because of the Baloch and other regional issues. Iran is concerned about the overflow of violence from the Sunni fundamentalist and Baloch seperatist. Undeveloped Baloch areas in Iran and Pakistan not only are poverty areas, but violence in these regions are caused by, 1) militant activity on both sides of the borders, and 2) unchecked flow of narcotics, weapons, and migration. High profile attacks against Iranian military targets are happening in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province caused by increased disturbances by the anti-Shia terrorist group Jundullah believed operating in part out of Pakistan. Anthony Cordesman and his group at the Center for Strategic and International studies and Ivan Sascha Sheehan at the University of Baltimore have studied Middle East policy and gave permission for me to review some of their intelligence to come up with possible solutions. legal scholars from Abraham Lincoln University, School of Law, working in an intelligence analyst frame has done a joint analysis also for solutions. Official involvement in the attacks was cited by President Ahmadinejad publicly, demanding extradition of the main Jundullah leaders. Denying involvement Pakistan forced Iran to close it's border with the neighboring country in December 2009, but reopened it in March 2010, with Islamabad outlining better security measures on their side of the border. Pakistan and Iran have differing opinions for their strategies for the future of Afghanistan. Fearful of the rise of Sunni fundamentalism at it's borders, Iran is negotiating the Iranian-Indian-Russian axis of support for the Tajik-Uzbek Northern Alliance factions in Afghanistan to protect against Pakistani influence over Sunni Pashtuns. Iran in cooperation with India have designed alternate trade and transit routes reducing Afghanistan's dependance with Pakistan-causing a strain on Pakistani-Iranian relations. The Sunni-Shiite issue (Arab Spring) have caused unrest (political) in the Gulf raising tensions between the neighboring countries especially in Bahrain. Bahraini security is in Pakistani hands. Pakistan contributed a total of 40,000 soldiers across all branches of the Bahraini security services. Within the country Shia protestors were declared by Iran with solidarity. Pakistan has started recruiting thousands of troops (retired army officers, etc.) for deployment in Bahrain has caused concerns with Iran. Despite their nuclear concerns the Pakistani government congratulated President Mahmoud Ahaminejad on his reelection in June 2009. Publicly defending Iran's right to nuclear technology; Pakistan, being the nuclear state that's not signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty have called for a peaceful reconcilation on the international nuclear standoff. February 2010 saw a meeting with the Pakistani National Assembly Speaker Fahmida Mirza, and her Iranian opposite commenting that "Pakistan is against any kinds of sanctions against Iran and believes that Iran's nuclear disputes should be resolved peacefully and through dialogue". Development of the Iranian nuclear program is credited in part to the AQ Khan network. Allegedly gathering materials and technology for both basic and advanced centrifuges, the AQ Khan syndicate by US officials estimates operated with the support of some elements of the Pakistani military and intelligence services. In 2004 Khan himself acknowledged the transfers in 1999. US policy implications want to improve relations to make Pakistan a strategic partner. There is a surmountable difference in the US-Pakistani strategic interests to overcome. Having their own problems with Pakistan, Iran may see a window of opportunity (however the US is Pakistan's most generous beneficiary) by providing continued support for their security. A long period of hostility between Tehran and Islamabad are waning, because of their dislike of US influence in the region (one of many issues); will act as a template for their future relations. The Pakistani-Iranian strategic cooperation is still limited. Iran and Pakistan differ in their strategic interests in Afghanistan. US-Iranian relations have a common interest, they are 1) combat Sunni extremist, and 2) generating order to prevent the flow of narcotics, weapons, and refugees. Iran has had a positive influence in western Afghanistan utilizing their cultural, economic, and political investments have delayed violence and handed over control to the Afghan security forces. The US and Pakistan, having different ideas of what the postwar regional structure will look like forces suspicion among US officials and analyst of them utilizing a covert Pakistani support for the Taliban insurgents. The US presence in South Asia generated a dislike by Tehran and Islamabad causing Iran to negotiate with the Taliban for limited joint operations. An Afghan settlement is in the works by Iran to expand the accomodation with Pakistan to secure each others interests. The US may not have serious problems to negotiate. There are problems with Tehran and Islamabad strategic cooperation on counter narcotics, and border security. Pakistan's concerns start with, 1) close relations with Saudi Arabia, and 2) Riyad's investments in their religious sector complicate relations. Iran believes that the Saudi-Iranian rivalry is more important than the the US-Iranian competition. The influence of Iran in Pakistan provides another tool to convince the government and security forces to take an aggressive stance against the Sunni fundamentalists active in sectarian violence. Under the guise of good intentions and regional cooperation Iran is more competitive in a region where local and outside power uses all it's neighboring countries to it's own advantage. Infuence of the US over Pakistan will be determined by the US drawdown in 2014 which will reduce US attention. Historically the US viewed Pakistan stability as a viable national interest given the potential for nuclear proliferation and regional wars; however Iran's influence should not be discouraged. Islamabad relations might worsen if negative Iranian-Pakistani cooperation is ran more on emotion than rational interest. Pakistan and India play a major role in sanctions. Growing trade ties between Pakistan and Iran (in energy) have increased since the 1990's providing a bilateral trade network between them. Reportedly increased non oil imports by Pakistan reached 279 million (80 percent); while Iranian non oil imports totaled 278 million (11 percent) for the year. Signing a purchase agreement in May 2009 Iran and Pakistan agreed that Iran will transfer 30 million cubic meters of gas to Pakistan per day with the volume increasing to 60 million. Gas supplies are guaranteed to supply Pakistan for 25 years (India was not a party to this). Over the objections of the US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke (Pakistan having a major energy crisis, would face sanctions that would affect both countries), the two groups on June 13 2010 signed a 7.5 billion agreement. Selling 1,100 Mw of subsidized electricity to Pakistan, Iran also reported that 1,000 km of the IPI pipeline on Iranian soil had now been completed. The US-Iranian competition was structured on these growing ties. Proposed construction of the 2,600 kilometer, 7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (IPI) would pump gas from Iran's South Pars field to Pakistan and India. The project has been stalled by US pressure, and tense political relations between India and Pakistan. The crucial obstacles of instability in Afghanistan and tensions between India and Pakistan have slowed the US favored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. Western negotiations with Pakistan and India to reduce consumption of Iranian oil in response to Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons has been rejected by both countries. Increased sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank (ICB) and an embargo on oil by the EU, forced Tehran to rise to the occasion and increase deliveries to their buyers like Pakistan and India, adopt flexible payment methods, incentivize customers, and dodge sanctions. Bartering wheat for oil; Pakistan will supply Iran with 1 million tons of wheat, offsetting food shortages brought on by sanctions and on the flip side exchange 80,000 b/pd on a three month deferred payment plan. India refusing to participate in sanctions against the Iranian energy sector, has taken up the slack in demand caused by the EU embargo and China's decision to replace some of it's Iranian imports with Saudi oil. India is also publically critical of a nuclear armed Iran supporting four IAEA resolutions since 2005 aimed at halting suspected Iranian nuclear activities. Unchanged in January despite new sanctions, India was the largest buyer of Iranian crude as of February 2012. Disrupting existing contracts with the IRI India is growing power with regional ambitions and a majorpurchaser of Iranian oil. Iran being an important country amongst them, India's finance prime minister Pranab Mukherjee stated (in Chicago) their decision not to cut back on imports citing they provided the energy requirement for an emerging country. India faces the possibility of emerging US and EU sanctions. India will not participate in energy sanctions outside that mandated by the UN. Indian trade with Iran has been difficult by the US led sanctions regime and Indian imports are reduced as a result. March 2012 saw India's largest oil buyer-State run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. or MRPL, reducing imports from 150,000 bpd to 80,000 bpd for the fiscal year beginning April 1. Suggestions on the table are, 1) AQ Khan network is partially bankrolled by the military and intelligence service of Pakistan-which may be indirectly funded with US money needs to be reevaluated, 2) Work on steps to make Pakistan a strategic partner (work on economics, banking, and foreign policy), 3) US and Pakistan negotiate with the Sunni extremist to come up with a viable solution, 4) Iran's positive influence in W. Afghanistan needs renegotiation, 5) US-Pakistan postwar regional structure needs to take into account Afghanistan and Iran, 6) covert support for Taliban insurgents needs to be put in check, 7) US to work with Iran to expand the accomodations with Pakistan to secure each others interests, 8) work with Paksitan on it's concerns (close relations with Saudi Arabia, and Riyad's investments in their religious sector), 9) negotiate and appeasement with the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, 10) reframe the US view of Pakistan, 11) work to not discourage Iran's influence, 12) negotiate for rational interest in Iranian-Pakistani cooperation, 13) since Pakistan and India play major roles in sanctions, recognize their right and work towards cooperation, 14) instead of a bilateral trade network, make it a trilateral network, 15) reframe the Iranian, Indian, Russian axis of support to include the US, 16) utilize the main and alternate trade and transit routes, 17) work with Pakistan on Bahrainian security (private US security firms), 18) since Pakistan, India, and Iran are not signatory Non Proliferation Treaty members-design protocol to recognize their contributions as non signatory and set up time frames for them to sign and ratify, 19) ease sanctions on the Iranian Central bank, and the oil embargo, and finally since India is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil (from the South Pars oilfield), let them use the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline with branches into Afghanistan and Turkmenistan-creating the Iranian-branches to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipline (ITAPI). US cooperation needs to be involved.
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