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Iran Threatens Violent Response to Attack on Revolutionary Guards

Iran Threatens Violent Response to Attack on Revolutionary Guards

Friday, 15 February, 2019 - 10:45
Revolutionary Guards at Isfahan airport receiving the bodies of officers killed by the suicide bombing in southeast Iran (Tasnim)
London - Adil Al-Salmi
Senior Iranian officials have vowed a furious response to the suicide bombing which targeted a Revolutionary Guard bus and killed nearly 30 and injured 13 in Zahedan city, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province.

While Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) to launch an investigation into “possible oversight” leading to the attack, President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States and its allies and urged neighboring countries to “do their due diligence in upholding values of good neighborliness.”

Khamenei also blamed an internationally-hatched conspiracy against Iran and attributed the attack to espionage operations involving the West.

The Guards, part of the elite branch of Iran's armed forces, were traveling a 100-mile mountainous route from the city of Khash to the provincial capital of Zahedan, when they came under attack, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency cited a statement from the IRGC.

"If these actions continue, it is clear that we have rights in terms of legal and international standards, and we will be able to meet our rights in a timely manner," Rouhani warned.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also cast doubts surrounding the timing of the attack, noting that it coincided with the US-held summit on Iran in the Polish capital of Warsaw, and accused Washington of orchestrating the attack.

“Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins?” Zarif tweeted.

Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its part, reacted to the tweet, writing: “Poland condemns terrorism in all its forms.”

The Ministry added on its Twitter page: “The reaction to the attack on Khash-Zahedan road in Iran cannot be different. “No” to violence. No terrorists are present in Warsaw today. There is democracy, freedom of expression and solidarity.”

The attack is a fresh blow to the image of the IRGC, which reports directly to Khamenei.

Twelve members of the Revolutionary Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn in an attack by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz. ISIS terror group and an Arab separatist faction, Jaish al Adl, claimed responsibility for that attack.

Jaish al Adl says it wants greater rights for the oppressed Baluchs in Iran. Last month, it claimed responsibility for a double bombing in Zahedan. Three police officers were wounded in the attack.

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