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Wednesday, October 28, 2009     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran and Pakistan talk terrorism after elite IRGC commanders killed in bombing

NICOSIA — Iran and Pakistan have agreed to begin security cooperation on their shared border to thwart smugglers of drugs and weapons. At issue however, is terrorism.   

Iran has blamed Sunni insurgents based in neighboring Pakistan for suicide bombings that killed at least 42 people on Oct. 18. Seven of the casualties were identified as senior officers in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

For its part, Islamabad in late October, was said to have arrested IRGC officers who infiltrated Pakistan. Iran has not acknowledged the arrests.

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The Sunni group Jund Allah has claimed responsibility for the latest attack in Iran's Baluchestan province. Iran has urged Pakistan to launch a crackdown on Jund Allah, led by Abdul Malek Rigi.

"Iran and Pakistan enjoy brotherly relations with each other, but the presence of the terrorist elements in Pakistan is not justifiable," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. "The government of Pakistan should help arrest and punish the criminals as soon as possible."

Officials said Islamabad and Teheran have drafted an agreement on border security cooperation. They said the accord would stop the smuggling of drugs and weapons from Pakistan to Al Qaida-aligned insurgents in Iran.

"Certainly, cooperation between these two border regions can settle many problems in the future," Iranian Interior Minister Mustafa Najar said.

Najar, who has visited Pakistan, did not say when the agreement would be signed. But the Iranian minister said the accord would pave the way for comprehensive security cooperation.

"Border security, [campaign against] drug, human and arms trafficking and exchange of security information between the two countries are among the major and significant elements of the agreement," Najar said on Oct. 25.

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