Iran has warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE and pressed Pakistan for action over Wednesday’s bombing that killed 27 Revolutionary Guards and wounded 13.
An assailant drove an explosives-laden car into a bus carrying the troops in Sistan-Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran, near the Pakistan border. Fars, the Guards-linked site, said the Baluch separatist group Jaish ul-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack; however, regime officials soon blamed the US, Israel, and — referring to Saudi Arabia — “regional powers”.
Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari (pictured) said on State TV on Friday, “[The attackers] are backed by reactionary regional states, the Saudis and the Emiratis, under orders from the Israelis and the Americans…and we will certainly take retaliatory measures.”
Jafari continued with a message for Islamabad, “If Pakistan does not carry out its responsibilities, Iran reserves the right to confront threats on its borders…based on international law and will retaliate to punish the terrorists.”
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. After those attacks, Tehran has called on Pakistani authorities to deny sanctuary to the mainly-Sunni Muslim group.
The Guards commander said Islamabad must deal with “Takfiri mercenary terrorists, who are the enemies of both nations, and decisively confront them to rob them of any chances to take any action, which could compromise security or pose danger”.
He tried to present the attack as a response to unspecified triumphs by the Islamic Republic , claiming “the Iranian people’s heavy slap [of] the leaders of the global hegemony, Zionism, and US-sponsored terrorism”.
Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi claimed the regime “will exact a stern and crushing revenge on the plotters, perpetrators, and supporters of the heinous crime”.