Even though today swords are drawn between Pakistan and Iran. Relations between the two countries may have deteriorated, but there was a time when Iran, being an Islamic country, helped Pakistan a lot in the war against India. Even despite Pakistan’s financial condition being bad, it had purchased fighter jets, missiles and modern weapons from western countries so that it could defeat India in the war, but in both the wars of 1965 and 1971, Pakistan had to face defeat from India.
Foundation of Iran-Pakistan friendship
The foundation of Iran-Pakistan relations was laid with the birth of Pakistan. When Pakistan became independent on August 14, 1947, Iran became the first country to recognize the sovereignty of Pakistan. The two countries also signed a treaty of friendship in May 1950. The King of Iran, Shah Reza Pahlavi, became the first head of state to visit the neighboring country in 1956. Pakistan’s founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had good relations with him and the Islamic world. Soon after this, Pakistan opened its first embassy in Tehran.
When India supported Egypt as the leader of the Arab World, Iran was peeved. Then Iran strengthened its friendship with Pakistan against India. During the Cold War, Iran and Pakistan aligned themselves with the West and became founding member states of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), an anti-communist alliance in 1955.
Supported in the wars against India in 1965 and 1971
When war broke out between India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, Iran fully supported Pakistan and proved itself to be a reliable friend. After the war broke out in 1965, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “We are concerned by India’s aggression against Pakistan.” When Pakistan was not able to gather weapons in this war, Iran acted as a ‘dealer’ by bringing weapons from Germany and delivering them to Pakistan.
India Today report, quoting US Intelligence Memorandum document, says that when poor Pakistan failed to procure military weapons from Western countries, Iran bought many F-86 jet fighter aircraft, air-to-air missiles from Western countries, especially Germany. It purchased anti-aircraft missiles, artillery and ammunition and some of the fighter jets were delivered to Pakistan via Iran, while many weapons were delivered directly to Karachi.
12 helicopters given in 1971 war
During the second war between India and Pakistan in 1971, Iran had given military equipment like 12 helicopters, artillery, ammunition and spare parts to Pakistan. According to a United States foreign relations document, Iran also provided oil to Pakistan at cheap rates during the war.