• 23 Jun, 2024

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says the border between Iran and Pakistan must be safeguarded against any sort of insecurity.

Raeisi made the statement in a meeting with Pakistan's new Ambassador to Tehran Muhammad Mudassir Tipu on Saturday as the diplomat submitted his credentials to the president.

    "The Islamic Republic of Iran believes borders are an opportunity for economic exchanges and the promotion of security of the neighboring countries," the president said.

Raeisi urged the two countries to implement common plans to battle terrorism and organized crime.

He stressed the importance of strictly countering any negative atmosphere in relations between Tehran and Islamabad.

The Iranian president warned against the "very destructive" consequences of the activities of the US-led terrorist groups in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria, over the past years.

The presence and activities of these terrorist groups pose a threat to all the countries in the region, Raeisi said, emphasizing that Tehran welcomes regional cooperation to counter-terrorism.

The Pakistani envoy, for his part, hailed Raeisi's effective role in settling recent tensions between the two countries and welcomed the Iranian president's roadmap to a coherent community of regional countries.

Mudassir said senior Pakistani officials are resolute on strengthening cordial ties with Iran.

Despite efforts by enemies and ill-wishers to disrupt bilateral cooperation, the two countries have historical and strategic ties and Islamabad is ready to open a new chapter in its fraternal relations with Tehran, the diplomat said.

In a post on his X account earlier in the day, Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president's deputy chief of staff for political affairs, also pointed to the meeting between Raeisi and Mudassir. "It's the US that benefits from terrorism. Our borders are opportunity, not threat," Jamshidi wrote.

On Friday, Rasoul Mousavi, director general of the South Asian Affairs department at Iran's Foreign Ministry, said that Mudassir Tipu and Iran's Ambassador to Islamabad Reza Amiri Moqaddam returned to their respective posts earlier in the day.

"Strong Pakistan and Iran are critical for the region and to promote historic people-to-people ties. Time to turn a new leaf," Mudassir wrote in his X account.

Amiri Moqaddam also commended the Iranian and Pakistani governments and officials for their "deft & tactful diplomacy".

"Long live Iran and Pakistan friendship," the Iranian ambassador tweeted.

The two neighboring countries witnessed an escalation of cross-border tensions over Iran's counter-terrorism operations.

On January 16, Iran launched simultaneous drone and missile attacks on two bases of Jaish ul-Adl, a terror outfit that was formed in 2012 and has conducted several attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.

The group claimed responsibility for an attack in December 2023 on a police station in the southeastern city of Rask that killed at least 11 Iranian police officers.

On January 10, another attack by the group on a police station in the city killed one officer.

Pakistan carried out strikes on January 17 against what it called bases of the separatist Baloch Liberation Front and Baloch Liberation Army in regions close to Iran’s border.

Tehran condemned the attack as unacceptable and unbalanced.