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Zarif Calls on Pakistan to Ensure Security of Abducted Soldiers

Zarif Calls on Pakistan to Ensure Security of Abducted Soldiers

Thursday, 18 October, 2018 - 09:00
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. AFP
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a phone call to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in which he called for Pakistan to follow up on the fate of the abducted Iranian border guards.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said his forces would respond toughly to the abduction of at least 11 soldiers at dawn on Tuesday in the Southeastern Sistan-Balouchestan province.

Zarif called on the neighboring country to intensify efforts to secure the release of the abducted guards and guarantee their safety, according to Fars News Agency.

An Iranian opposition group called Jaish al-Adl said it had seized the personnel, which included members of the Guards, at the Mirjaveh border post in Sistan-Balouchestan province to avenge the oppression of Sunni Muslims in the area.

Iran says its abducted border guards were unconscious at the time, following reports that they had eaten drugged food, yet no proof was given.

Zarif requested increased seriousness of the Pakistani security and border forces in protecting the security of the borders of the two neighboring countries, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

It said both militaries were working to ascertain the whereabouts of the Iranians.

Fars agency quoted Qureshi as condemning the abduction of the Iranian personnel.

He said his country has deployed its capabilities to prosecute the perpetrators and release the Iranian soldiers.

Jafari said what he called “enemies” had tried unsuccessfully in the past to occupy Iranian turrets or border posts.

“This time they were able to carry out their operation by bringing in an infiltrating force,” he stressed.

“They were sure that as long as the fighters and defenders are alert, they cannot achieve their goal, so they were able to kidnap these individuals by making them unconscious.”

He described fomenting insecurity in Iran as an important goal pursued by foreign enemies.

"We are aware of their plots and investments (financial aids to terrorists) but most of these plots are foiled by our preparedness and superiority,” Jafari noted.

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