Tens of thousands of Iranians called for “revenge” on Saturday at the funeral of 27 Revolutionary Guards killed in a suicide attack perpetrated by jihadists that Tehran accuses Pakistan of supporting.
“The government of Pakistan must pay the price of harbouring these terrorist groups and this price will undoubtedly be very high,” said Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, referring to jihadist outfit Jaish al Adl (“Army of Justice”).
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will no longer observe the previous reservations and will directly act to counter such acts,” Jafari told mourners gathered at the city of Isfahan’s Bozorgmehr Square.
Jafari blamed Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency, saying that “sheltering and silence” amounts to supporting the perpetrators.
The Wednesday bombing targeted a busload of Revolutionary Guards in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan, which shares borders with Pakistan. The responsibility was claimed by Jaish al-Adl.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has linked the perpetrators of Wednesday’s attack to “the spying agencies of some regional and trans-regional countries”.