Iran Came Out On Top After Its Tit-For-Tat Strikes With Pakistan

42
Without comment
Iran Came Out On Top After Its Tit-For-Tat Strikes With Pakistan
Iran Came Out On Top After Its Tit-For-Tat Strikes With Pakistan
Iran successfully advanced five strategic objectives: 1) preemptively thwarting an imminent terrorist attack from Pakistani soil; 2) flexing its military muscles before the domestic and international audiences; 3) suggesting that Pakistani-emanating terrorist threats are as dangerous as threats from Israel and the US; 4) reinforcing perceptions of Pakistan as a US proxy after its predictable retaliation; and 5) getting it to flip-flop on suspending their ties and thus making it look unstable.

Pakistan decided to restore relations with Iran on Friday around 48 hours after it expelled that country’s ambassador and recalled its own following Iran’s strike against Tehran-designated terrorists-separatists in the Pakistani region of Balochistan. Pakistan retaliated in kind against Islamabad-designated terrorists-separatists in the Iranian region of Sistan & Balochistan. Their Foreign Ministers then talked and agreed to patch up their problems.

In brief, the long-running security dilemma brought about by both accusing the other of weaponizing Baloch groups over the years climaxed last week after Iran caught wind of an imminent terrorist attack that was being plotted from Pakistan, which prompted it to carry out a preemptive strike. Pakistan then hit groups in Iran that it accused of plotting similar such attacks against it. Despite the seriousness of these exchanges, many in the Alt-Media Community (AMC) chalked it all up to a “5D chess master plan”.

Pakistan’s swift restoration of relations with Iran will predictably be spun by them as supposed proof of their theory, but the last of the five earlier enumerated analyses comprehensively debunks that drivel. Nevertheless, it’s still important to interpret Islamabad’s decision due to the significance of the past few days’ tit-for-tat, which represented an unprecedented crisis in their relations. To be sure, it’s to both of their benefit that relations were restored, but it’s still worth analyzing who ultimately came out on top.

Observers should remember that Pakistan was the one to break off relations after Iran’s initial strike, which suggested that it caught policymakers completely by surprise. If those two secretly coordinated their strikes like many in the AMC claim, then the Iranian Ambassador wouldn’t have been expelled nor the Pakistani one recalled only for this policy to be reversed just two days later. This flip-flop only took place because Pakistan’s perceptions of Iran drastically changed before and after its retaliation.

Policymakers wanted to signal to the domestic and international audiences that they regarded Iran’s initial strike as an unprovoked and illegal act of aggression, ergo the harsh diplomatic reaction of cutting off ties that same day. The Armed Forces and related intelligence agencies have a reputation for protecting their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which was dealt a powerful blow by non-nuclear Iran becoming the third country to bomb Pakistan after nuclear-armed America and India.

On the domestic front, all Pakistanis respect those military-intelligence structures that are collectively referred to as the Establishment, but a sizeable proportion of people are convinced that its elite echelons are corrupt after April 2022’s post-modern coup against former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The subsequent de facto imposition of martial law and surge in attacks by Afghan-based and Islamabad-designated TTP terrorists further discredited the Establishment in many Pakistanis’ eyes.

It was thus imperative to clearly convey that Pakistan had no prior warning of Iran’s initial strike, let alone secretly coordinated it, in order to “save face” after this latest blow to their reputation. This explains the decision to suspend their relations, which also signaled to the West how seriously Pakistan regarded everything in the event that the Islamic Republic escalated after Islamabad’s planned retaliation. Had that happened, then this “Major Non-NATO Ally” would have requested US support.

Simply put, Pakistan never expected that Iran would unilaterally respond to their long-running security dilemma in such a major way and had no idea how it would respond to the planned retaliation, so it reacted in a way that would justify continuing hostilities if Tehran chose to further escalate afterwards. Iran’s reaction once again caught Pakistan by surprise, however, by reaffirming their “brotherly relations” after some tongue-lashing and suggesting that “enemies” are responsible for what just took place.

In other words, Iran practiced perfect “reflexive control” by shaping the military-diplomatic environment in which Pakistan was forced to operate, first by triggering a retaliatory strike that would reinforce perceptions of Pakistan as a US proxy and then by getting it to flip-flop on suspending relations. Pakistan couldn’t eschew a tit-for-tat response nor could it ignore Iran’s olive branch since doing either would have further discredited the Establishment in the eyes of domestic and international opinion.

Iran therefore successfully advanced five strategic objectives at once: 1) preemptively thwarting an imminent terrorist attack from Pakistani soil; 2) flexing its military muscles before the domestic and international audiences; 3) suggesting that Pakistani-emanating terrorist threats are as dangerous as threats from Israel and the US; 4) reinforcing perceptions of Pakistan as a US proxy after its predictable retaliation; and 5) getting it to flip-flop on suspending their ties and thus making it look unstable.

For Pakistan’s part, while it could have theoretically reacted differently after Iran’s initial strike and the olive branch that it extended after Pakistan’s retaliatory one, the odds of that happening were very low. Iran keenly understood the way in which its neighbor’s Establishment formulates policy and masterfully manipulated it. Tehran of course hoped that Islamabad wouldn’t become the first country to bomb the Islamic Republic since Iraq in the 1980s, but it already knew how to react if that happened as it did.

The aforementioned damage to Iran’s soft power was deemed by its decisionmakers to be an acceptable cost for preemptively thwarting an imminent terrorist attack and earning the perceived prestige of being the only non-nuclear country to bomb Pakistan. With this in mind, Iran arguably came out on top following last week’s tit-for-tat strikes with Pakistan after perfectly practicing “reflexing control” to manipulate its neighbor’s military and diplomatic reactions, and the Establishment is none the wiser.
There are no comments for this article
Comment
Post a comment for this article

Similar post

Follow the similar posts
Armistice with Blinken's Trip to the Middle East

Armistice with Blinken's Trip to the Middle East

Jun 16 2024
America's Global Dictatorship, Everyone Must Obey the Law, Except Us!

America's Global Dictatorship, Everyone Must Obey the Law, Except Us!

Jun 13 2024
The Iranian Ministry of Interior Affairs announced the six candidates for presidenc

The Iranian Ministry of Interior Affairs announced the six candidates for presidenc

Jun 12 2024
IAEA complex game

IAEA complex game

Jun 10 2024
Cross-Border Resistance Front

Cross-Border Resistance Front

Jun 09 2024
Sudan and the resumption of relations with Iran

Sudan and the resumption of relations with Iran

Jun 04 2024
Title of the article: Iran's Major Step Toward Free Trade with the Eurasian Union

Title of the article: Iran's Major Step Toward Free Trade with the Eurasian Union

Jun 04 2024
As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it 2

As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it 2

Jun 03 2024