Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has demanded Pakistan act “decisively against anti-Iranian terrorists” in a phone call with the country’s premier, Tehran said, a month after a bloody attack on security forces.
Iran says a Pakistani suicide bomber was behind the Feb. 13 attack that killed 27 Revolutionary Guards in its volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
A Sunni jihadist group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran says operates mostly out of bases in neighboring Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the blast.
Iran has accused Pakistan’s Army and intelligence agency of sheltering the jihadists and summoned the country’s ambassador in the wake of the attack.
Rouhani in the phone conversation on Saturday evening with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called to maintain good ties and pointed the finger of blame at Tehran’s traditional regional and international foes. “We shouldn’t allow decades of friendship and brotherhood between the two countries be affected by terrorist groupuscules that we both know from where they are being armed and financed,” Rouhani said, according to a government statement.
The Iranian president was alluding to the United States and Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which it accuses of aiding jihadist groups responsible for attacks from Pakistani soil.
February’s bombing was the latest of numerous attacks on Iran’s security forces and officials in Sistan-Baluchistan, where the minority Sunni Baloch accuse the authorities of discrimination.