Iran offers Pakistan close defence and military collaboration

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TEHRAN - Iranian and Pakistani defense ministers have held talks on Washington’s role in the region days after US President Donald Trump launched a spree of belligerent twitter messages against the two powerful Muslim nations.

In a Thursday telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Khurram Dastgir-Khan, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ali Hatami hailed growing defense cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad.

Hatami said the latest developments in the region and the Islamic world require more interactions among the officials of Iran and Pakistan as two major countries in the region and the Muslim world.

“The Americans always blame others for their own failures in different parts of the world and follow the strategy of the Zionist regime (Israel) to destabilize the region,” he said.

The Iranian defense chief said the “evil and stupid policies of the US” are the root cause of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the deaths of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria on a daily basis.

Hatami pointed to the ample potentials existing for military cooperation between Iran and Pakistan and stressed that the two countries should utilize their capacities to boost economic growth and security.

The Pakistani defense minister, for his part, welcomed enhancement of military cooperation with Iran, noting that the two countries should bolster their cooperation further given the rapid pace of the regional developments.

Dastgir-Khan also criticized Trump’s repeated tweets against Pakistan, stressing that Muslim nations have a sovereign right to guarantee their own security.

Iran and Pakistan are already cooperating on confronting Takfiri terrorists who operate near their joint borders.

The latest phone conversations came only days after Trump posted a series of tweets, in which he voiced support for scattered riots in Iran and accused Pakistan of supporting terrorists.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump tweeted on Monday.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif fired back and said his government was preparing a response that “will let the world know the truth.”

A senior Pakistani senator on Friday expressed disappointment at the US decision to suspend military aid to Islamabad, saying it will be detrimental to Pakistani-US relations.

Nuzhat Sadiq, the chairwoman of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee in the upper house of parliament, said Islamabad can manage without the United States as it did in the 1990s.

Sadiq said that "what the US is doing now is not good for its policy against terrorism and for a lasting peace in this region."

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