by WorldTribune Staff, February 15, 2019
Iranian leaders are saying the United States and its Middle East allies are responsible for a Feb. 13 suicide bombing which killed 27 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“The crime will remain as a ‘dirty stain’ in the black record of the main supporters of terrorism in the White House, Tel Aviv, and their regional agents,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Feb. 14, a day after one of the deadliest attacks on Iranian security forces in years.
According to the IRGC, a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a bus that was transporting IRGC troops in Sistan-Baluchistan Province.
Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni Muslim separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif seemed to suggest the attack on the IRGC was linked to a Middle East conference in Warsaw co-hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
Zarif tweeted: “Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins? Especially when cohorts of same terrorists cheer it from Warsaw streets & support it with twitter bots? U.S. seems to always make the same wrong choices, but expect different results.”
In an interview in Warsaw on Feb. 14 with RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, Pompeo said “The Americans had nothing to do with this at all.”
Zarif will attend a security conference in Munich from Feb. 15-17, where world leaders and experts will address a variety of topics ranging from climate change to international security.
Pompeo said that since Zarif is “actually headed to Munich where many European countries will meet with him, I would ask those countries when they meet with Mr. Zarif to ask him, why he would say such an outrageous thing?”
Iran says the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are supporting Sunni militia groups that carry out attacks against Iranian security forces.
“If this continues and they cannot stop the terrorists, it is clear – based on international law – that we have certain rights and will act upon them in due time,” Rouhani said.
Iranian state television reported on Feb. 14 that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered immediate action against those responsible for the attack.
“There is a link between this crime…and some regional and international spying and intelligence agencies,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.