Did the US give a greenlight to Pakistan for its retaliatory strike inside Iran?


Iran’s revolutionary guards launched a missile and drone strike on terrorist hideouts inside Pakistan on Tuesday (File photo)

New Delhi reacts to Iranian action by saying India has a complete zero tolerance for terrorism and understands the actions that countries take in their self-defence

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Washington, DC  

In a military move that can change the entire dynamics in the West Asian region, Iran attacked the headquarters of a terrorist group opposed to Tehran with drones and missiles inside Pakistan territory on late hours of Tuesday. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is “completely unacceptable” and warned of serious consequences. It further said that Iran has taken this action despite the existence of several channels of communication between the two nations.

Now, Islamabad and Tehran have sought to de-escalate tensions after Pakistan launched retaliatory strikes inside Iran on Thursday, threatening a full-scale conflict between the two neighbors, as per officials and diplomatic sources, as reported by The Express Tribune.

Pakistan after conducting the missile strikes sent a reconciliation message to Iran and told the neighboring country that it had no interest in further escalating the tensions. As per The Express Tribune, a Pakistan-based newspaper, with three key regional players working behind the scenes, Tehran indicated that it was ready to lower the tensions too.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday evening issued a statement stating that Tehran “adheres to its policy of good neighborly ties with Pakistan”. One Pakistani official said: “We hope the worst is over.”

Iran’s strikes in Pakistan came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missiles into Iraq’s Kurdistan region at what it called an Israeli “spy headquarters” and at alleged ISIS-linked targets in Syria, Al Arabiya News reported.

In response, Pakistan on Thursday launched missile strikes into Iran and codenamed it Operation ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’.

In the meanwhile, in a major gesture, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in an official statement over the Iranian airstrikes in Pakistan that India has a complete zero tolerance for terrorism and understands the actions that countries take in their self-defence,

He said, “This is a matter between Iran and Pakistan. Insofar as India is concerned, we have an uncompromising position of zero tolerance towards terrorism. We understand actions that countries take in their self-defense.”

But, the US on Thursday evaded a question on whether Pakistan held prior consultations with Washington before conducting retaliatory air strikes on Iran. On media reports claiming Pakistan consulted the US before conducting strikes in Iran, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, during a regular press briefing in Washington, said, “I do not have any private conversations to read out.”

Miller said the US is concerned about the escalating tensions in the region and has urged restraint on all sides. He said there is no need for escalation in the matter and that the country has noted the Pakistani government’s comments about the importance of “cooperative relations between Pakistan and its neighbors.

In response to a question on how the US administration reads the situation between Iran and Pakistan, Miller said, “We are concerned about escalating tensions in the region. It’s been something we have spoken a number of times, we’ve focused on. We’ve been incredibly concerned about the potential for escalation since October 7.”

“That’s why we have engaged in intense diplomatic efforts to try to prevent escalation. We noted the comments from the government of Pakistan, about the importance of cooperative relations between Pakistan and its neighbors. We thought those were productive useful statements, and certainly, there’s no need for escalation and we would urge restraint on all sides in this case,” he added.

Matthew Miller called Iran a major funder of Hezbollah and a principal supporter of Hamas for years. In another query about the ongoing tensions between Iran and Pakistan after strikes and counterstrikes, Miller said, “I think I made pretty clear yesterday what we think about Iran’s attacks, not just the strikes that were launched in the past three days against three of its neighbors but its long history of funding terrorism, funding instability and sowing discord in the Middle East. That’s something we have seen contribute to conflict in Gaza.”  

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