TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hossein Hassani Sa’di underlined Tehran’s tough confrontation with the terrorists who have abducted five border guards in the Southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan since early this month, stressing that Tehran will show no compromise in this case.
“We will have no soft stand in this case and our neighboring country (Pakistan to which the terrorists have transferred the kidnapped soldiers) should account for its lack of action,” Hassani Sa’di told reporters in Tehran on Monday.
“We will show tough confrontation in this case,” the senior military official reiterated.
Meantime, the General said the 5 Iranian border guards are still alive, and underlined that “political and military measures are underway to set them free”.
Last Saturday, the outlawed Jeish Al-Adl radical Sunni Wahhabi movement claimed responsibility for the abduction of the 5 Iranian border guards.
Jeish Al-Adl released a photo of the kidnapped border guards on its Tweeter page and claimed the responsibility for their abduction on Saturday.
Earlier reports said that they had been transferred to Pakistan which has a long border with Iran in the Southeastern parts of the country.
The remarks by the General came after the terrorist group set several conditions for releasing the five Iranian soldiers. The group has called on Iran to release 50 of its arrested members, 200 sunni prisoners and 50 female militants imprisoned in Syria in a swap deal with the five border guards.
On Sunday, an Iranian deputy foreign minister stressed Tehran’s firm will to root out terrorist groups alongside Iran-Pakistan border.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Expatriates’ Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said necessary consultations for the release of the abducted Iranian border guards were underway.
The Iranian official also stated that the results of the consultations will not be publicized until the issue is finalized.
“We hope that the incident will result in the freedom of our loved ones as it was the case in previous incidents,” Qashqavi expressed.
On Saturday, Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi confirmed that the five border guards are safe and sound.
“The latest news reports indicate the good health conditions of the five abducted Iranian border guards,” Abdollahi told FNA.
He reiterated that the foreign ministry as well as the Iranian and Pakistani ambassadors “are following up the case and all efforts are being made” to secure the release of the abducted border guards.
On February 9, Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Esmayeel Ahmadi Moqaddam voiced concern over the presence of terrorist groups in Pakistan’s territories, and underlined that Iran’s police along with the Foreign Ministry are resolved to do their best to clear the fate of the five Iranian guards abducted at the Iran-Pakistan border.
Ahmadi Moqaddam criticized the performance of the Pakistani government and its border police in the joint border region.
He then asked how it is possible that certain elements ambush the Iranian guards, kidnap them, take them to Pakistan and release some photos of them.
He further called on the Iranian Foreign Ministry to investigate the case.
Last Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Pakistan’s Ambassador to Tehran Nour Mohammad Jadmani to explain about the fate of the five border guards.
The director-general of West Asia Office of the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday invited the Pakistani envoy and conveyed the Islamic Republic’s “displeasure and official protest” to him over the terrorist attack and the abduction of the border guards.
The Pakistani diplomat, who was handed an official protest note from Iran during the meeting, expressed regret over the terrorist operation.
Jadmani said he would convey Iran’s message to Islamabad to pursue the issue.
Also, last November, Jeish Al-Adl claimed responsibility for the assassination of Zabol prosecutor.
In the early hours of November 6, unknown assailants killed the prosecutor of Zabol city in Sistan and Balouchestan province, Mousa Nouri, and his driver while they were on their way to work.
But, Iranian officials rejected the claim, saying Jeish Al-Adl was just bluffing to boast about its power. Iranian officials said another terrorist group had most likely conducted the attack. A few weeks later, Iranian security forces arrested the terrorists who were said to be not a member of Jeish Al-Adl.
Jeish Al-Adl had also killed 14 Iranian border guards two weeks before Nouri’s terror incident.
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