Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sochi, Russia, February 14, 2019 (Sergei Chirikov/Reuters)
Iranian leaders have blamed the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia for Wednesday’s bombing that killed 27 Revolutionary Guards and wounded 17 in southeastern Iran.
Fars, the Guards-linked site, initially said the Baluch separatist group Jaish ul-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack in Sistan-Baluchestan Province near the Pakistan bomber. The Guards said an assailant drove an explosives-laden car into a bus with the troops.
Since its formation in 2012, Jaish ul-Adl has carried out a series of shootings, assassinations, and kidnappings of Iranian personnel in the border area.
But President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday, “The crime will remain as a ‘dirty stain’ in the black record of the main supporters of terrorism in the White House, Tel Aviv, and their regional agents.”
The Supreme Leader echoed, “There is a link between this crime…and some regional and international spying and intelligence agencies.”
Tehran did not say how the differing claims against Jaish ul-Adl and against a US-led coalition could be reconciled.
Before leaving for a summit with Russian and Turkish counterpart in southern Russia (see Syria Daily), Rouhani called on Pakistan to assume “legal responsibilities” and prevent “terrorists” from using its territory to prepare attacks: “If this continues and they cannot stop the terrorists, it is clear — based on international law — that we have certain rights and will act upon them in due time.”
The President vowed, “Such cowardly crimes will have no effect on the great Iranian nation’s resolve, and they will continue along the same path they have taken”.
At the summit in southern Russia, Rouhani also took aim at the Trump Administration’s attempt in Poland to forge an international coalition supporting its pursuit of regime change in Tehran: “While we, in cooperation with Russia in Sochi, are taking a new step towards reinforcing stability in the region and fighting terrorism in Syria, some, who themselves, support terrorists, are plotting against our region in Warsaw.”