Iran accuses US, Britain of abetting suicide blast

Iran accuses US, Britain  of abetting suicide blast

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards marching during a military parade in Tehran. File photo/AFP

Iranian media say the Sunni Muslim insurgent group Jundollah (God’s soldiers) has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing in Sistan-Baluchestan province, which killed 42 people.
The incident threatened to overshadow talks between Iran and global powers in Vienna on Monday. The talks were intended to tackle a standoff about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Guards commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said the Iranian security officials had presented documents indicating “direct ties” from Jundollah to the US, British and, “unfortunately”, Pakistani intelligence organisations, the ISNA news agency said.

“Behind this scene are the American and British intelligence apparatus, and there will have to be retaliatory measures to punish them,” Jafari was quoted as saying.
Jundollah, which has been blamed for many attacks since 2005 in the desert province bordering Pakistan, says it is fighting to end discrimination against Sunni Muslims by Iran’s dominant Shi’ites. Its leader is Abdolmalek Rigi.

“This person himself and his plans are undoubtedly under the umbrella and the protection of these (US, British and Pakistani) organisations,” Jafari said. Iranian television quoted General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Guards’ ground forces, whose deputy was killed in the bombing, as saying: “The base of the terrorists and rebels has not been in Iran. They are trained by America and Britain in some of the neighbouring countries.”

Involvement denied
The United States, Pakistan and Britain have all condemned the bombing, the bloodiest attack in Iran since the 1980-88 war with Iraq, and denied involvement. “We reject in the strongest terms any assertion that this attack has anything to do with Britain,” said a spokeswoman at Britain’s Foreign Office. “Terrorism is abhorrent wherever it occurs.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered Moscow’s cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism in a letter to Ahmadinejad, Medvedev’s press service said.

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