There was a time before the infamous Iranian Revolution when Pakistan and Iran were on excellent terms. The Shah of Iran Ahmad Reza Pehlvi had stood up with Pakistan many times. The Pakistanis have never forgotten those days. Pakistan having a 25% Shia Muslim population, definitely, sees Iran as a country of considerable influence in her society.
With so much at stake, where these two coutries could have been on excellent terms even now, things started to deteriorate when the world placed sanctions on Iran after its Revolution. The geographical dynamics changed overnight. Loyalties changed. Regional interests changed. And hence, the dawn of a new foreign policy adopted by Iran came. Pakistan chose to recognize the new Ayatollah Khomeini led regime despite external, international pressure.
What went wrong? Iranian diesel started getting smuggled into the streets of Karachi when Pakistan was already paying the cost of Kalashinkovs and heroine coming into Peshawar from Afghanistan (via Chaman and Kandhahar). The society had to become polarized. And yet, Iranians can feel free to criticize Pakistan’s support of the Afghan Taliban in the 80s since Tehran has always chosen to consider Russian Federation as an important ally! Indian and Iranian relations improved rapidly. This caused massive panic in the diplomatic and military factions of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which had assumed Iran to be a natural ally because of sharing a border and coastline, Islam and Persian influence. This never happened! Moreover, Pakistan’s extra cordial relations with Saudi Arabia were a source of concern in Tehran. Islamabad was finding itself in a tricky position.
Recently, despite the hurdles in foreign policy frameworks, the unexpected happened. First, an Indian Navy Commander was caught in Balochistan who admitted of spying and being a member of RAW. He also told that he had operated from Iran. Second, the Afghan Taliban’s slain leader Mulla Mansour was also coming from Iran to Pakistan when he was killed in a drone strike. Third: Iran recently signed a deal with India by granting her access to the Iranian coastal borders through its port. Tehran’s foreign policy is in no jeopardy. They are very clear of what they want to do. Giving statements like Chobahar will serve as a “friendly” port to CPEC is nothing but a deceptive tactic.