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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, has called for Muslim unity many times in recent months.The facts are far from clear, but it appears Iranian and Pakistani forces exchanged mortar fire on Oct. 25-26, a week after Iranian forces crossed the border and, according to the Pakistanis, killed one and wounded three border guards.Iran has alleged for some time that Pakistani security has failed to combat Baluchi militants using Pakistan as a base for operations in Iran. A few days before Iran's cross-border action, militants killed at least four Iranian soldiers or border guards and, according to Akbar Naseri, an Iranian parliamentary deputy quoted by the Mehr news agency, Tehran warned it would act if Pakistan did not.Iran suspected the kidnapped guards were held inside Pakistan.This is certainly no time for the Pakistani authorities to be seen as 'soft' on Shiite Iran. Even though India in 2009 pulled out of Iran's 'peace pipeline' to supply gas to the sub-continent, it remains an important buyer of Iranian oil and is investing in Iran's Chababar port, in Sistan-Baluchistan, partly to facilitate its trade with Afghanistan.
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