(Persia Digest) – An analyst of Subcontinent affairs in Iran believes: “Considering Iran’s historic ties with India and Pakistan, and the wide-ranging interests of New Delhi in Chabahar Port, Pakistan’s view of Tehran’s ability to act as mediator in recent tensions with India is not far from reality.”
Following the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s announcement that it was ready to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi, the Pakistani Embassy in Tehran has welcomed the offer. Does Iran have the ability to mediate and how will this impact the rivalries between Tehran and Riyadh on the Subcontinent?
Pir Mohammad Mollazehi, analyst of Subcontinent affairs in Tehran, told Persia Digest (PD) in an interview: “Historically, Iran has held an important place in India and Pakistan. This becomes more significant with the investments India has made in Chabahar and there is a general understanding between Tehran, Kabul, and New Delhi for Central Asia to access the free seas via Chabahar Port. As such, Islamabad believes that Iran’s close ties with India and Pakistan qualifies it as a mediator, which is not far from reality.”
He added: “Tensions in this region will not benefit anyone, especially as Iran shares extensive borders with Pakistan. If security in this country is compromised, at least the Shia population of Pakistan expects the Islamic Republic to side with them. Tehran also stood by Islamabad in times of tension and war before the 1979 Revolution. Of course, circumstances are different today and Iran is in a better position to mediate.”
Speaking about the impact of Iran’s mediation on the Riyadh rivalry in the Subcontinent, Mollazehi stated: “The fact is that Riyadh is following a reasonable policy in the subcontinent. Their first 21-billion-dollar deal was signed by the Saudis in Pakistan during Ben Salman’s trip. The have also signed very large trade agreements with India. From this angle, Saudi Arabia considers its own national interests with regard to India and Pakistan. Although, considering past ties between Riyadh and Islamabad, and the financial and ideological links between its Islamic factions and the Saudis, Pakistani authorities expect the Saudis to side with them; and this is not compatible with Ben Salman’s views.”
The analyst of Subcontinent affairs also commented on probable tensions arising between India and Pakistan as a scheme developed by Saudi Arabia and Israel to put pressure on Iran, saying: “India and Pakistan are large countries and each pursues its own special interests with Iran. It is not easy for Riyadh and Tel Aviv to put pressure on them. Although, it is true that Saudi Arabia will try to isolate Iran where possible and part of Ben Salman’s agenda on his trip to this region was to this end.”
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