With the death toll in the suicide bombing targeting its elite Revolutionary Guards in the Sistan-Balochistan province spiraling to 42, an Iranian MP has triggered speculation of possible cross-border military action into Pakistan to hunt for those responsible for the attack.
“There is unanimity about the Revolutionary Guards and the security forces engaging in operations in any place they would deem necessary,” Iranian MP Payman Forouzesh, who represents the Sistan-Balochistan province, was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
“There is even unanimity that these operations (could) take place in Pakistan territory,” added Forouzesh triggering speculations of a possible military cross-border operation into Pakistan.
The state media on Sunday said a local rebel Sunni group called Jundollah (God’s soldiers) claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded many people ahead of a meeting with tribal chiefs.
The attack, one of the deadliest in the Islamic Republic in recent years, comes as a grim reminder of deepening instability in the region that lies along predominantly Shi’ite Iran’s border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Jundollah accuses Iran’s Shi’ite-led government of discrimination against Sunnis in the region.
Iranian officials also accused the United States and Britain of involvement, a charge was promptly rejected by Washington.
Meanwhile Pakistan has condemned the attack and denied suggestions from the Iranian president that “some security agents” in Pakistan were cooperating with the bombers.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying security agents in Pakistan were cooperating with the militants behind Sunday’s bombing, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.
“We were informed that some security agents in Pakistan are cooperating with the main elements of this terrorist incident … We regard it as our right to demand these criminals from them,” Ahmadinejad said, without giving details.
Ahmadinejad called on Pakistan not to waste time in cooperating with Iran in apprehending the perpetrators.
(Story Based on Media Reports)