Islamabad, Tehran seek to de-escalate tensions: Report

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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 neighbours, 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 neighbouring 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 neighbourly 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.

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In response, Pakistan on Thursday launched missile strikes into Iran and codenamed it Operation ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement said it had undertaken a series of “highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts” in the Siestan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran.

“A number of terrorists were killed during the intelligence-based operation codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar,” it said. Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he is “deeply concerned” about the exchange of military strikes between Iran and Pakistan. He called on both nations to exercise maximum restraint to avoid a further escalation of tensions.

According to a statement released by UN Chief Stephane Dujarric, Antonio Guterres said, “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the recent exchange of military strikes between Iran and Pakistan, which have reportedly caused casualties on both sides.” “He urges both countries to exercise maximum restraint to avoid a further escalation of tensions,” he added.

Antonio Guterres underlined that all security concerns between Iran and Pakistan must be addressed by “peaceful means” through dialogue and cooperation, in accordance with the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and good neighbourly relations.