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US evades question on giving nod to Pak strike on Iran

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
January 19, 2024 16:04 IST
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The United States on Thursday (local time) evaded a question on whether Pakistan held prior consultations with Washington, DC before conducting retaliatory air strikes on Iran.

IMAGE: A missile is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in the south of Iran. Photograph: WANA/Iranian Army via Reuters

On media reports claiming Pakistan consulted the US before conducting strikes in Iran, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, during a regular press briefing in Washington, said, "I do not have any private conversations to read out."

Miller said the US is concerned about the escalating tensions in the region and has urged restraint on all sides.


He said there is no need for escalation in the matter and that the country has noted the Pakistani government's comments about the importance of 'cooperative relations between Pakistan and its neighbours'.

In response to a question on how the US administration reads the situation between Iran and Pakistan, Miller said, "We are concerned about escalating tensions in the region. It's been something we have spoken a number of times, we've focused on. We've been incredibly concerned about the potential for escalation since October 7."

"That's why we have engaged in intense diplomatic efforts to try to prevent escalation. We noted the comments from the government of Pakistan, about the importance of cooperative relations between Pakistan and its neighbours. We thought those were productive useful statements, and certainly, there's no need for escalation and we would urge restraint on all sides in this case," he added.

Matthew Miller called Iran a major funder of Hezbollah and a principal supporter of Hamas for years.

In another query about the ongoing tensions between Iran and Pakistan after strikes and counterstrikes, Miller said, "I think I made pretty clear yesterday what we think about Iran's attacks, not just the strikes that were launched in the past three days against three of its neighbours but its long history of funding terrorism, funding instability and sowing discord in the Middle East. That's something we have seen contribute to conflict in Gaza."

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.

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, US State Department spokesperson Miller said: "You have seen Iran as the principal supporter of Hamas for years. They are the major funder of Hezbollah. They are one of the major funders of the Houthis. We have seen the consequences of the actions that Iran has taken to add to regional instability and that's why we continue to take actions to hold Iran accountable and also send clear very messages to Iran that we don't believe this should escalate in any way, shape or form."

"Pakistan is a major non-NATO ally of the United States, and that will remain the case, but we would urge restraint in this case. We do not want to see escalation and don't think there's a need for escalation," he added.

US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House, John Kirby, said the US is monitoring the situation regarding Iran and Pakistan 'very very closely' and they do not want to see escalation.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra