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Iran, Pakistan Sign MoU to Enhance Maritime Security

By Nigar Bayramli November 22, 2023

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Iran’s Border Guards Commander Brig Gen Ahmad Ali Goudarzi and the director general of Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency, Rear Admiral Imtiaz Ali, signed a maritime border security memorandum (MoU) to combat smuggling, illegal fishing and environmental sabotage, in a meeting held in Tehran on November 21, 2023. / MEHR News Agency

Iran and Pakistan have signed a maritime border security memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combat smuggling, illegal fishing and environmental sabotage.

"Our ties with the state of Pakistan has been growing in all spheres and this particular meeting can reduce the difficulties arising from water and land borders," Iran’s Border Guards Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Ali Goudarzi said.

His observations came during a meeting with Director General of Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency, Rear Admiral Imtiaz Ali, in Tehran on November 21, Mehr News Agency reported.

Goudarzi urged for strengthening border control between the two countries through joint patrols and maneuvers to prevent drug trafficking, and illegal fishing, and secure the safety of fishermen at sea.

He pointed to the 8,755 km of borders that Iran shares with some 15 neighbouring countries, and called for the development of cooperation with Pakistan on joint border issues.

In July, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said that Tehran aims to transform security borders with Pakistan “into safe and economic borders, developing border markets and cooperation in the energy sector”.

Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and the Iranian border guards signed an MoU to enhance maritime cooperation during the visit of Pakistan’s Defense Secretary Hamood uz Zaman Khan to Iran on June 19.

During the visit, the Iranian and Pakistani high-ranking officials called for further enhanced collaboration in the areas of security, joint counter-terrorism measures and ensuring regional economic connectivity.

On June 14, the visiting defense secretary of Pakistan met Brig Gen Mehdi Farahi at the Iranian Ministry of Defense in Tehran, and the two sides stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries to fight the extremist and terrorist groups.

Security issues and the promotion of peace in the region, trade and energy issues were also discussed during the 12th round of Pakistan-Iran Bilateral Political Consultations held in Tehran on June 17-18.

The two countries share a 904-kilometer-long border. Iran's south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, which has borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to some Sunni extremist groups that are opposed to the Islamic Republic as a Shia theocracy. The Iranian security forces and Sunni armed groups often clash in the province.

On November 13, an Iranian border guard was killed and two others wounded in a clash with an armed "terrorist group" near Saravan in Sistan-Baluchestan in an area bordering Pakistan. A day earlier, Iranian police dismantled two drug trafficking gangs in the cities of Iranshahr and Khash in Sistan-Baluchestan.

The province is host to a major route for drug and arms traffickers to transit their shipments to the inner parts of Iran and export them to other parts of the world.

Sistan-Baluchestan’s Police Chief Brig Gen Doustali Jalilian said on November 18 that "a number of bulletproof tactical ‘Toufan’ cars were allocated for the southern part of the province in order to improve security and help a strong crackdown on thugs, drug traffickers and individuals who undermine security."

The mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle “Toufan” was unveiled by the Iranian Defense Ministry in November 2018.