The Presidents of Pakistan and Iran met today at a summit in Beijing. At the meeting President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan announced that Pakistani territory would never be used to attack Iran. That statement, along with several bilateral agreements, will strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Iran is, and has been for some years, criticized by Wester powers for human rights abuses and the pursuit of nuclear weaponry. Th country’s biggest detractors, Israel and the United States, have made statement that many have taken as confirmation of a planned invasion. Any invasion would be made difficult without the help of Pakistani officials.
That being said it is unlikely the United States will declare a full war, of the type seen in Iraq, on Iran. What is more likely is the use of drones and possibly full bombing technology to disable Iran’s weapon’s making abilities. This course would also be made easier by the availability of Pakistan’s resources.
The same strategy that was followed by the Americans in the late 1990s against Iraq. The United States bombed Iraq in December of 1999 in order to disable military facilities and weapons building technology.
Pakistan already supports the war the United States is fighting in Afghanistan by helping the US military resupply their troops and machinery through the country. The United States has become used to the uneasy alliance it has formed with Iran and has used it to its fullest potential.
Today’s comments, if made in earnest, mean that there are some limits on the extent to which Pakistan will permit the United States to exert its power inside its borders. The Pakistani government recently lodged a complaint with the United States about drone attacks in the country.
That complaint was brushed off by the United States as they continue to attack people inside the country. The American Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has declared that it is defending its own sovereignty inside its own borders.
Apart from the statement of solidarity from Pakistan’s leader there were several other agreements made at the summit. The countries pledged to continue to develop a Pipeline between them, and the supply of electricity for Pakistan. Pakistan is currently in the depths of an energy crisis that has left the people facing blackouts and a general lack of resources.
Pakistan will stand strong behind Iran according to its leader. That will worry the United States as it struggles to maintain power in the region.