TEHRAN: The chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan on Monday of having links with Sunni militants responsible for a suicide bombing that killed five senior Guard commanders and 37 others.
According to sources, Iran’s president said those behind Sunday’s bombing are hiding across the border in Pakistan, and in a phone call to his Pakistani counterpart on Monday he demanded their arrest.
Monday’s statements marked the first time Iran has publicly accused its neighbour’s intelligence service of supporting the Sunni rebel group known as Jundallah, or Soldiers of God.
Revolutionary Guard chief General Mohammad Ali Jafari vowed Monday to deliver a “crushing” response.
“New evidence has been obtained proving the link between Sunday’s terrorist attack and the US, British and Pakistani intelligence services,” state TV quoted Jafari as saying.
He said the attack was “undoubtedly” planned and ordered by the three nation’s intelligence services and that a delegation would soon travel to Pakistan to present evidence.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had harsh words Monday for his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari.
“The presence of terrorist elements in Pakistan is not justifiable and that the Pakistani government needs to help arrest and punish the criminals as soon as possible,” state TV quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Zardari.
“We’ve heard that some officers in Pakistan cooperate with the main elements behind such terrorist attacks and we consider it our right to demand these criminals from them,” he was quoted as saying.
Zardari telephoned Ahmadinejad to strongly condemn the suicide attack.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pointed a finger of blame at the United States, sources reported.
“This terrorists’ crime revealed the evil face of enemies of security and unity who are supported by intelligence organizations of some arrogant governments,” he said, using Iran’s term for the US.