Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Iranian president has accused Pakistan of involvement in yesterday’s suicide attack which killed a leader of the Revolutionary Guard. Accusations of supporting terrorism were even lodged against the United States and Great Britain, a few hours ahead of the meeting in Vienna to agree on the Iranian nuclear issue.
At least 42 people were killed and dozens injured in the attack in the south-east of the country, Sistan-Balochistan. Seven Revolutionary Guard commanders were killed, seriously undermining the leadership of the group that controls the area, famous for being a transit point of drugs from Afghanistan-Pakistan to Europe. Among those killed; General Shoushtari Nour-Ali, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard, and Rajab-Ali Mohammad-Zadeh, commander of the area. The blast occurred during a meeting between rival Sunni and Shiite groups.
Iran accuses the terrorist group Jundallah (Army of God), which in the past has been responsible for other attacks, and has demanded that Pakistan pursue them because they use Pakistani territory as a base and refuge. Jundallah is a Sunni group attempting to destabilize Sistan-Balochistan, which has a majority Sunni population in majority Shiite Iran.
President Ahmadinejad said that "Some Pakistani security officials cooperate with the main elements of this terrorist incident." Earlier, the chairman of the Majlis (parliament) Ali Larijani, had accused the United States.
"The recent acts of terrorism - he said - are from the United States and show the Americans' animosity toward us." The Revolutionary Guards have also accused Britain.
U.S. State Department spokesman, Ian Kelly, has condemned the terrorist act and branded as false the accusations made against the United States. London too has condemned the attack and deplored the loss of lives.
The tension created by the terrorist attacks and accusations against foreigners could hamper the meeting to be held today in Vienna between Iran, the United States, Russia and France to find a solution to the Iranian nuclear program. For some time the international community has suspected that Tehran is enhancing its nuclear program for military purposes. Instead Iran claims its use for peaceful purposes. In Vienna, an agreement under which Russia and France agree to enrich Iranian uranium to allow Tehran use as fuel, is set to be made.
If Iran does not accept this solution, several countries - including the United States – are demanding a strengthening of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. But Russia and China have already made their opposition clear.