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Posted: 9/4/2008 8:55:08 PM EDT
Iran to help Pakistan combat terrorism
Thu, 04 Sep 2008 16:13:30 GMT

Iran has called on Pakistan to develop a strategy that can allow the two countries to join forces to effectively combat terrorist groups.

"We hope with the formulation of a joint strategy, we can seriously confront terrorists," said Iranian First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi in a telephone conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Various armed groups including Jundallah are based in Pakistan. The group has been blacklisted by both countries as a terrorist group and reportedly receives funding indirectly from the US in a bid to destabilize neighboring Iran.

Jundallah terrorists kidnapped 16 soldiers last June in southeastern Iran. The group has also claimed responsibility for a 2007 car bombing in the Iranian city of Zahedan; 18 civilians were killed in the attack.

Pakistan is also plagued by militancy. Gilani himself survived an assassination attempt near Islamabad on Wednesday; former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed at an election rally last year.

Condemning the recent assassination attempt against Gilani, the Iranian vice-president declared that Pakistan's stability would benefit Tehran. "The Islamic Republic of Iran sees Pakistan's security as its own security."

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