Iran: Sunni insurgents used Pakistan as base to plan Zahedan bomb attack; Claims explosives came from US
Published: Sunday February 18, 2007
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The New York Times reports that the Iranian Foreign Ministry is claiming "that Sunni insurgents from Iran used Pakistan as a base to plan a bombing that killed 11 people and wounded more than 30 in the southeastern border city of Zahedan last week." Iran is also demanding an explanation from the Pakistani ambassador.

"We summoned the Pakistani ambassador to explain what happened," military spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said on Sunday, according to the Times. "Both sides will suffer from insecurity and we decided to set up a committee to raise the security at the borders."

The semiofficial Iranian Fars News Agency is claiming that a source has "relevant documents, photographs and film footages showing that the explosives and arsenals used in the attack were American" and that it "would be presented to the public and media in the near future."

Excerpts from Times article:


Newspapers in Tehran reported Sunday that the state-run Hamoun channel in Sistan-Baluchistan broadcast a two-minute confession by a suspect, Nasrollah Shamsi Zehi, who was accused of being involved in the deadly bombing. He said he had robbed a bank in Zahedan, then escaped to Pakistan where he was trained by Jondollah for two months and was told that he would receive $1,200 for each mission.

Iran has accused the United States and Britain of provoking the Sunni insurgents. The authorities have said that the efforts are part of the plot to sow discord among Sunnis and Shiites in the country. Gen. Mohammad Ghaffari, a commander of security forces in the province, told the Fars news agency that a film that was confiscated from the suspects proved that the group was “affiliated to intelligence agencies of some of the foreign countries, such as the U.S. and Britain.”

The news agency also quoted what it called informed sources as saying that the explosives used in the bombings were American.

Iran blamed the United States and Britain for a series of bombings in the southern city of Ahwaz in Khuzestan Province in 2006. Those bombings were also carried out by Iranian Sunnis. The government hanged 12 men after accusing them of carrying out the attacks, which killed eight people.



Excerpts from latest Fars News Agency report:


Iran on Saturday invited international bodies to send envoys to Tehran to witness documents and other corroborative evidence showing involvement of foreign countries in recent terrorist blasts in the country's southeastern provincial capital city of Zahedan.

Director General for the political affairs of Sistan and Balouchestan governorate Soltan-Ali Mir told FNA that the US and Britain are behind the recent terrorist attacks in the city of Zahedan, adding, "Washington and London are facing serious challenges as their interests in the Middle-East region have been endangered. Since the Islamic Republic is the main center of anti-US struggles, they are seeking to trouble Iran through a series of challenges, including terrorist attacks and unrests." Asked to elaborate on the documents proving involvement of the US and Britain in recent incidents in Iran's Sistan and Balouchestan province, he said, "The weapons that the terrorists have used are US and British made. Moreover, the arrested terrorist agents have confessed that they have been trained by English-speaking people."

The official invited representatives of the United Nations, Human Rights watch and other international bodies to dispatch envoys to Iran to observe the available documents and proofs substantiating involvement of the Untied States and Britain in the recent terrorist attacks, including the blast and shootout on Wednesday. "The US and Britain, which allege to be pioneers in the campaign against terrorism, are themselves actually defending the terrorists, training them and providing them with the needed media and financial supports and facilities," he added.

Soltan-Ali Mir further pointed out that the US and Britain intend to create a series of incidents in his province similar to what they have already done in Iraq. "They intend to kill the Shiites and leave the footsteps at the door of the Sunnis or vice versa. Some of the arrestees confessed that they had plans to assassinate religious and tribal leaders of the Sunnis and put the blame on the Shiites in a bid to foment ethnic and religious conflicts," he stated.