EghtesadOnline: Iran says Pakistan should stand accountable for letting armed bandits operate on its soil after they killed nine Iranian border guards on the country’s southeastern frontier.
“The Pakistani government should be held accountable for the presence and operation of these vicious groups on its soil, ” Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, said in a post on the Telegram messenger channel on Thursday.
“Carrying out subversive and terrorist operations by armed bandits and grouplets operating as proxies for those known for promoting violence, extremism and Takfirism on the Iranian-Pakistani border is condemned and unacceptable,” he said.
On Wednesday, nine Iranian border guards were killed and two others injured in clashes near the Iranian town of Mirjaveh in the province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan. The Jaish ul-Adl terror group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
“The countries that are after joining anti-terrorist coalitions must answer how they are incapable of countering armed bandits and terrorist groups on their own soil,” Qassemi asked.
He was apparently referring to Pakistan's participation in a Saudi-led coalition, which has been pounding Yemen for more than two years now under the pretext of fighting terrorists, as well as Islamabad's cooperation with the US.
Pres. Rouhani urges rapid punishment of perpetrators
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday expressed his condolences over the death of the Iranian border guards, urging rapid steps to identify and punish the perpetrators.
“I ask the government of friendly and neighboring Pakistan, which this blind and cowardly act has taken place on their side of border, to take a responsible step and identify, introduce and punish members of the terrorist and Takfiri groups, who are behind this crime, as soon as possible.”
President Rouhani also ordered Iran's Supreme National Security Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow up on this issue with diligence so as to prevent repetition of such “unmanly acts” of terrorism.
'Terrorists not to go unpunished'
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his ministry "will spare no effort in following up the case through diplomatic channels and punishing terrorist thugs.”
In a message on Thursday, Zarif also expressed sympathy with the families of the victims and those wounded in the attack.
In a related development, Iran’s First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri issued a statement on Thursday, saying "the perpetrators of this inhumane and abhorrent crime will be brought to justice for their despicable deeds.”
Terrorists and mercenaries should know that “they cannot make a dent in the Islamic Republic’s firm resolve to fight terrorism and banditry through such inhumane and perfidious acts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said, "The black-hearted enemies have repeatedly tried to damage the security and authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
"However, the brave children of this nation have vigilantly stood up against evil groups to guard and protect the country’s borders, having regarded martyrdom as a great honor for themselves,” PressTV quoted him as saying.
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli also paid tribute to the memory of "the heroic youths, who fell down in their blood at the hands of terrorist Takfiri-Zionist groups while they were safeguarding security, welfare and peace for the Iranians."
“This tragic loss once again underlined the need for all people to be vigilant against the plots and seditious schemes of the enemies to divide the honorable Iranian nation,” he said.