Iran vows revenge against ‘mercenary’ suicide attack

Source:AFP Published: 2019/2/14 21:33:41

Accuses US, Israel of supporting terrorism


President Hassan Rouhani vowed revenge Thursday against the "mercenary group" behind a suicide bombing which killed 27 people in southeastern Iran and accused the US and Israel of supporting terrorism.

"We will certainly make this mercenary group pay for the blood of our martyrs," the official IRNA news agency quoted the Iranian president as saying in response to Wednesday's attack.

"The main root of terrorism in the region is America and Zionists, and some oil-producing countries in the region also financially support the terrorists," he added.

Rouhani was speaking at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport before leaving for the Russian resort of Sochi for a summit with his Russian and Turkish counterparts Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the future of war-battered Syria.

Wednesday's attack, which targeted a busload of Revolutionary Guards in the volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, was one of the deadliest on Iranian security forces in years.

The bomber struck as the troops were returning from a patrol mission on the border with Pakistan, where Baluchi separatist and jihadist groups have rear bases, the Guards said.

Sistan-Baluchistan is home to a large ethnic Baluchi community, who straddle the border and, unlike most Iranians who are Shiite Muslims, are mainly Sunni.

Rouhani called on Iran's neighbors to assume their "legal responsibilities" and not allow "terrorists" to use their soil to prepare attacks.

"If this continues and they cannot stop the terrorists, it is clear - based on international law - that we have certain rights and will act upon them in due time," he said, without elaborating.

The attack came on the same day as the United States gathered some 60 countries in Poland for a conference on the Middle East and Iran which they hoped would increase pressure on Tehran.

Iran quickly linked the attack to the Warsaw conference, where supporters of the formerly armed opposition People's Mujahedeen plan a second day of protests on Thursday.

Dubbing the meeting the "WarsawCircus," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was "no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day" that the talks began in the Polish capital.



Posted in: MID-EAST

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