The United States and Iran seem to be having a frigid relation for long. The success of Iran’s Nuclear Diplomacy by P5+1 Group rekindled the importance of international Law which is usually violated by the states owing to its limited juridical outreach and lack of an executive authority.

Pakistan and Iran hold fragile relationship towards each other. Apparently, it is due to Pakistan’s inclination towards Saudi Arabia. But undeniably, Iran has its own vested interests in the region. The two countries share commonality of religion, history, and culture; Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan after its independence. Shah Pahelvi had reportedly proposed the idea of a confederation of Iran and Pakistan with a single army in the past. Likewise, both states became members of US-led organization, CENTO. However, Iran left the group to start its politico-economic alliance with India after crisis of 1971 in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s relationship with all its neighbouring countries is strained except for China. Unlocking Central Asian States including Afghanistan for trade remains to be a real challenge for Pakistan. With the fast depletion of natural resources in the Arab world and other countries, the significance of the CARs is gradually soaring to. Mighty powers are being tempted to make all-out effort to unlock the land-locked energy-rich states. Likewise, Pakistan bears significance of its situation closer to them.

Iran is blessed with large swathes of land and abundant natural resources. Iran is located at the most important place which connect Pakistan with Turkey, which is considered to be a European state. Around 70% of Iran’s population is literate. Thus, Iran has survived under the dark clouds by keeping the sanctity of its sovereignty intact in spite of foreign conspiracies.

Moreover, the relationship between Iran and the US continues to remain tense due to the emerging global scenario of railway freight by China - interconnectivity of the world by means of railway instead of seaway - Iran is giving space to China to transport its goods to the Europe by rail. After all, the rail journey is cheaper than sending freight by air. The converging points of the US and Iran would come about after the successful actualization of Chinese rail-road network. Since, China would need an access to penetrate the southern region of Europe via Iran by railway from Pakistan.

Further, President Xi Jinping will soon host 28 world leaders and representatives from another 70 countries to sell his hugely ambitious signature project. The plan is to build a vast network of new trade routes across the globe, multiple high-speed rail networks to penetrate Europe, massive ports across Asia and Africa and a series of free-trade zones. Resultantly, it will cement Chinese influence, closer to home, in the Pacific, in countries like East Timor, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. The new trade routes will bring more business and big international companies in China and Pakistan by virtue of its opening of southern China and Chongqing to the world.

In addition, China is going to spend up to a trillion dollars on infrastructure projects and hopes to bind more than 65 countries and two thirds of the world's population to its economy. Economists have ascribed the economic investment to a modern day Marshall Plan — which helped the US cement its status as one of the superpowers after World War II. According to modern estimates, the US only spent about $130 billion on the Marshall Plan, while China is hoping to spend much more. China's aim is to lift trade by $2.5 trillion in a decade by flooding world markets with cheap, high-quality Chinese goods. Hence, it is said that ‘China is empire-building on a scale the world has not seen before’.

In fact, it is an attempt by the Chinese to secure global dominance at a time when the United States is stepping back, and on the domestic front to keep growth and wealth strong for decades to come. China may be less interested in bringing about rapprochement between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but would rather be more interested in maintaining robust bilateral relationship with Afghanistan. Iran is an option for China to ensure its access to the southern region of Europe. For this, Afghanistan may be ruled out. Pakistan’s rail-road may be used to connect Iran’s rail-road for transporting freight in future.

Pakistan should strengthen its relationship with Iran. The complexities between both the states should be addressed by dual ends. Iran would need to have a shortest possible pipeline route for gas exports not only to Pakistan but China as well. For it Pakistan is the viable option. This shows the salvation of both states lies in mutual understanding and resolution of all reservations. After all, making route via Afghanistan would not be on the cards for Iran under the prevailing situation of undeveloped infrastructure and acute sense of insecurity.

Moreover, Pakistan should explore the most subversive depth of consciousness of the global players. Let us not forget this saying of great philosopher Spinoza: “Every conscious virtue is an effort to conceal a secret vice.”