Tag Archives: Pakistan

#Saudi regime negotiating to purchase nukes from #Pakistan?

22 Jan

Some odd behavior by the Saudis.

According to a report in today’s Independent:

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, has refused to answer questions about reports Riyadh was attempting to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan, but said the Kingdom would do “whatever it takes” to protect itself.

Well, you could say its possible that he has nothing to say. Thats why he is refusing to discuss this any further.

True, but when you add this warning by John Kerry on Monday when he:

warned Saudi Arabia and Pakistan against trading nuclear weapons, saying there would be “all kinds of NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] consequences” if they did.

Then another picture emerges, especially when you place it in the context that it was the Saudis who have been financing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program and the fact that the Saudis were one of the leading voices of opposition against the Iran nuclear deal.

Lets keep an eye on this story.

Pakistan as a reason for Iran to have nuclear weapons?

26 Feb

From Wikipedia: Implosion schema of a nuclear weapon

In response to my blog post “Pakistan just became a bigger security threat to Iran“, Mr Farhad Poluladi who is a former Tehran based AFP journalist tweeted:

Mr Pouladi makes a very interesting point, but I am not sure I agree.

Until now, Pakistan has not been a major reason for Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Yes, Pakistan is a primarily Sunni Muslim state and Iran is a Shiite Muslim state.  The two have vied for power in places such as Afghanistan. But in none of these differences Pakistan’s nuclear weapon have been a threat to Iran.

The next question which must be asked is: what if there are more cross border attacks from Pakistan inside Iran by armed groups?

Again, I am not sure that’s going to be sufficient reason for Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

The only time when Pakistan could turn into a serious threat is if it arms the Saudis with nuclear weapons.

If the reports are true and the Saudis could buy a nuclear weapon off the shelf from Pakistan in response to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, then Iran will not just have one, but two enemies. Proliferation of nuclear weapons from Pakistan to a major enemy of Iran will be no small matter to Iran’s leaders. This could seriously impact Pakistani – Iranian relations.

I think we are very far from the realization of such a scenario. To be honest, I don’t think Iran’s supreme leader Khamenei will ever decide to issue an order to assemble a nuclear weapons. The economic and military costs would be too high.

Pakistan just became a bigger security threat to Iran

24 Feb

Recently there was the kidnapping of five Iranian soldiers by Pakistan based Sunni Iranian militants.

And today a Pakistani Taliban group carried out a suicide bombing near Iran’s consulate in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing two people.

There have been attacks from Pakistan before. However during the past year, Pakistan has started to become a bigger security threat to Iran.

Why is that? What has brought this change?

In my opinion, two factors:

One is the war in Syria. Iran’s support for Assad’s attacks against Sunnis has energized many anti-Shia terror groups. This includes groups in Pakistan.

The other reason is Pakistan’s current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He entered office in June last year.

And what is so different about Sharif? 

“Compared to his predecessor, Sharif is much closer to the Saudi regime, which is one of Iran’s staunchest rivals in the region. In fact, when Sharif was deposed in a bloodless coup as Pakistan’s prime minister in 1999, it was Saudi intervention which saved him from jail. He then went to live in Saudi Arabia until 2007. Since coming to power, Sharif has met with the Saudi king again.

As the saying in Northern Ireland during “the Troubles” went: “Collusion is not an illusion“.

Recommended documentary : Balochistan: Pakistan’s other war

29 Dec

The pink area shows areas populated by Baluchis in Iran and Pakistan

There have been numerous attacks against Iranian military forces and in some cases civilians by Baluchistan based armed groups over the last decade.

Pakistan has also been facing its own war on its side of Baluchistan.

That is not to say that both problems are the same as Pakistan’s war in Baluchistan is more nationalist in nature than that of Iran’s.

In Iran some Baluchis complain of being discriminated against because they are Sunni. In Pakistan however Baluchis want to be independent again, as they were between 1947 and 1948 for 9 months.  Its much more nationalism based than religious.

This excellent documentary by AlJazeera English looks at the challenges and complaints by the Baluchis and the Pakistani government, as well as the basis of the war there.

I highly recommend this documentary.