Iran is building a 435-mile wall along its border with Pakistan in an effort to curb drug trafficking and the cross-border movement of terrorists, the country’s defense minister told the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
”Barrier and road construction along the border [with Pakistan] is being carried out in the impenetrable mountainous terrain [in southeastern Iran] with precision and quality,” Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said to IRNA.
“The fence will prevent villains from crossing into the Islamic republic,” General Vahidi said.
The fence is three-feet thick and 10-feet high. It is built with concrete, and is fortified by steel rods.
Previous Iranian strategies to fight both drug trafficking and the movement of militants have included digging canals, building barriers and putting up barbed wire to seal the country’s borders.
Iran is on the crossroad of an international drug transit route linking the major drug hub of Afghanistan to the Gulf and Europe.
The defense minister did not mention any specific terrorist groups. However, the Pakistan-based Jundollah (Arabic for God’s soldiers) has been blamed for several attacks in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province.
Jundollah itself says it is fighting for the rights of the Islamic Republic’s Baluchi minority. The group has evolved over the last few years through shifting alliances with various parties, including the Taliban and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service.
In December 2010 Jundollah took responsibility for an attack on a mosque in the city of Chabahar that left 38 people dead and 89 others injured.
Iran is Pakistan’s second neighbor after India to build a fence along the border. India recently completed an electrified fence all along the “Line of Control” in Jammu and Kashmir and parts of the border in Punjab. Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan, and the two countries have fought three wars over the territory since their independence from the British in August 1947.