Iran demands Pakistan act ‘decisively against terrorists’ after February attack
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Iran demands Pakistan act ‘decisively against terrorists’ after February attack

Tehran calls on Islamabad to stop Jaish al-Adl group, blamed for bombing that killed 27 Iranian Revolutionary Guards members

Mourners carry a flag-draped casket during a mass funeral in Isfahan, Iran, February 16, 2019, for 27 people killed in a suicide car bombing that targeted members of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard. (AP /Ebrahim Noroozi)
Mourners carry a flag-draped casket during a mass funeral in Isfahan, Iran, February 16, 2019, for 27 people killed in a suicide car bombing that targeted members of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard. (AP /Ebrahim Noroozi)

TEHRAN, Iran — 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 February 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.

Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, in the capital Tehran on September 22, 2018. (AFP/STR)

In the phone conversation Saturday evening with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Rouhani 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 Baluchis accuse the authorities of discrimination.

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