February 23, 2019
General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, accused Saudi Arabia of attempting to create tension between Pakistan and its neighbors in a Friday sermon in the Northern city of Babol.
“We are speaking to Pakistan with a friendly tone and we are telling that country not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for the neighboring countries; anyone who has made this plot for Pakistan is seeking to disintegrate that country, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take revenge of its martyrs from those mercenaries who have committed this crime no matter where they are in the world,” Soleimani said, according to reports by Farsi News Agency.
Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of General Staff of the IRGC on Monday, also threatened that, “if it needs to” Tehran will intervene in Pakistan if the presence of terrorists is not addressed “immediately.”
“We asked the Pakistani authorities to either purge the territories where terrorist groups are stationed or to allow Iranian forces to enter these (areas) and confront them,” Bagheri said.
Soleimani said instead of sending condolences for last week’s bus bombing, the Pakistani government should use the money Saudi Arabia is investing in the country to combat extremist groups they accused of having ties to the Kingdom.
“Are you, who have atomic bombs, unable to destroy a terrorist group with several hundred members in the region? How many of your own people have been killed in different terrorist operations? We do not want your condolences, how could your condolence help the people of Iran?” Soleimani said.
Soleimani claimed without providing evidence that the Kingdom was only investing in the country to divide Pakistan and increase its influence in the region, in comments reported by IFP News.
Soleimani added: “I tell the Pakistani people that the Saudi cash has influenced Pakistan and they want to destroy Pakistan with such measures.”
Pointing fingers at Saudi Arabia and the UAE
The head of the IRGC General Mohammad Ali Jafari threatened to retaliate against Saudi Arabia and the UAE last week over a suicide car bombing that killed 27 members of the organization.
“The traitor governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s patience has run out and the Islamic Republic will not tolerate your secret support for the Takfiri groups. We will take revenge for our martyrs from the UAE and Saudi governments and want the president to give us more free hand than in the past for retaliatory operations,” Jafari said at a ceremony for the victims of the attack.
Jafari accused the US and Israel of ordering Saudi Arabia and the UAE to carry out the attack, semi-official Tasnim news reported.
Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni militant group that operates near the Iran-Pakistan border, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iran also urged Pakistan to crack down on the militants, or expect military action by Tehran “to punish the terrorists,” state media reported.
Iran has previously accused Saudi Arabia of supporting militant Sunni groups that have attacked its security forces. Riyadh denied the charges.