“Unfortunately, the regions adjacent to Iran’s Eastern borders have turned into a shelter and place for training, preparing and equipping the terrorists who are mercenaries of Saudi Arabia and are supported by the US,” General Baqeri said in Tehran on Monday.
Stressing that Iran cannot bear such situation anymore, he said that the Pakistani officials are expected to tighten control over their borders, arrest and extradite the terrorists to Iran and close their bases in Pakistan.
“If the aggressions continue, the terrorists’ shelters and hideouts will come under (our) crushing attack anywhere they are,” General Baqeri warned.
Late last month, nine Iranian border guards were killed and two others injured in clashes near the Iranian town of Mirjaveh near the border with Pakistan. The Jeish ul-Adl terrorist group in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack.
After the incident, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani extended his condolences over the death of the Iranian border guards, urging rapid steps to identify and punish the perpetrators.
“I ask the government of friendly and neighboring Pakistan, which this blind and cowardly act has taken place on their side of border, to take a responsible step and identify, introduce and punish members of the terrorist and Takfiri groups, who are behind this crime, as soon as possible.”
President Rouhani also ordered Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow up on this issue with diligence so as to prevent repetition of such “unmanly acts” of terrorism.
President Rouhani also asked Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to immediately prosecute the perpetrators of the terrorist attack.
The Iranian president in his message voiced deep regret and concern over the terrorist attacks launched from Pakistan on the Iranian territory.
“The Iranian territory has never been invaded by its neighbors, including Pakistan, but regrettably lack of appropriate measures and necessary prosecution on the part of Pakistani government has caused great loss of lives and property for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” President Rouhani said in his message.
Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week underlined Islamabad’s seriousness about prosecuting and punishing the terrorists who have killed 9 Iranian border guards recently.
Iran is a friendly neighbor of Pakistan; therefore, strong relations with Iran is a key element in Pakistan’s foreign policy. Any threat to Iran is tantamount to a threat to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif said during the meeting.
On the tragic incident in which 9 Iranian border guards were martyred by the terrorists, he assured Iran that Pakistan will take all necessary measures to bring the culprits to justice.
Zarif, for his part, said that there is a need for deployment of more Pakistani forces to ensure the security of Iran-Pakistan border, adding that terrorist activities in border region mean that some external elements are not happy with the strong Iran-Pakistan ties.