DUBAI: Iran urged neighbouring Pakistan on Saturday to crack down on militants who killed 27 of its Revolutionary Guards in an attack near the border or expect military action by Tehran “to punish the terrorists”, state media reported.
“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,” Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
A suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country’s Sunni Muslim minority.
The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighbouring country to crack down on them.
In the past Iran has accused its regional rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia, of supporting militant Sunni groups which have attacked its security forces. Riyadh has denied the charges.