Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander points finger at US, Britain for suicide attack


An Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps poster. Photo from Trends Magazine.

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is blaming the US and Britain for yesterday’s suicide attack that killed five senior IRGC commanders, including Brigadier General Nour Ali Shoushtari, the deputy commander for the IRGC’s ground forces, Brigadier Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh, the IRGC’s provincial commander for Sistan-Baluchistan, and the commanders of the Iranshahr Corps, the Sarbaz Corps, and the Amir al Mo’menin Brigade. Jafari claims to have evidence, which he will present to Pakistan. From the Iranian Students’ News Agency:

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari told reporters, “today a document was presented by Iran’s security system that shows the malicious Rigi group is directly linked to the intelligence agencies of US, Britain and unfortunately Pakistan and this person (Abdul Malik Rigi) and his plans are undoubtedly covered and supported by these agencies.”

Meanwhile, he said a delegation from Iran will travel to Pakistan in order to announce the issue and pursue it.

“Soon a delegation from Iran will travel to Pakistan to present the new evidence and document to the country’s government and say that Iran is informed about the issue and to ask for extradition of Abdul Malik Rigi,” he noted.

Asked about Iran’s approach to punish the main agents of terrorist measures in Sistan-Balouchestan on Sunday that left nearly 40 people dead and 30 wounded Jafari said, “behind this scene there are the US and Israel intelligence agencies and in order to punish them we must take retaliatory measures.”

“The global Arrogance must know that it won’t succeed through these measures,” he said.

Iran has long maintained that Abdul Malik Rigi’s Jundallah is allied with al Qaeda and receives aid from the US. The supposed smoking gun was Abdul Hamid Rigi’s confession in May of this year (Abdul Hamid is Abdul Malik’s brother and was deputy commander of Jundallah), which perfectly fit into the IRGC’s narrative.

But Syed Saleem Shahzad reported in May that al Qaeda and Jundallah were only beginning to explore ties.

Prior to Jundallah’s last two attacks, the group had not used suicide bombers to attack Iranian targets. The use of suicide attacks is a strong indication al Qaeda and Jundallah have cemented ties over the summer.

[Note: this issue is further confused by the fact that there is another Pakistani terror group called Jundallah, which does have direct links to al Qaeda. Iran has exploited this claim that the US is covertly supporting al Qaeda. US links to Rigi’s Jundallah have long been postulated but never been proved.]

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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