Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks in Hormozgan Province, southern Iran, February 17, 2019
Iran is putting pressure on Pakistan over a February 13 bombing that killed 27 Iranian Revolutionary Guards and wounded 13.
Tehran is accusing Islamabad of harboring the Baluch insurgents of Jaish ul-Adl, claiming that the faction carrying out the attack on a bus carrying Guards in Sistan-Baluchestan Province near the Pakistan border.
The regime has also accused the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia of involvement in the bombing, without explaining how this is connected to attribution of responsibility to Jaish ul-Adl
President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, in a speech in southern Iran, “Terrorists should know that our nation will undoubtedly avenge the blood of these dear martyrs….We will not let criminal mercenaries whose weapons and financial resources are provided by the enemies to escape the vengeance of God and the pious people of Iran.”
He said the Islamic Republic regretted the “wrong policies” of some of its neighbors, while holding out an olive branch to Pakistan: “Iran seeks brotherly, close relations with all regional countries.”
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani took a harder line, “The Pakistani government should be accountable for this act involving the grouplet orchestrating and conducting the operation from their territory….At the current juncture, Pakistan cannot act irresponsibly.”
The Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani Ambassador for a “strong protest”. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said officials delivered the message that Pakistan must “prevent these terror groups from further intensifying insecurity, skepticism, and distrust between the countries”.
In an attempt to ease tensions, Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, in a phone call with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, that Islamabad will send an expert delegation to Tehran.
Qureshi said Pakistan is ready for “any cooperation” with Iran to investigate the bombing.