Amid strain ties between Indian and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, the Iranian government and the country’s armed forces have threatened to act against Pakistani terror groups since the country cannot act against them.
Issuing a stern warning to the Pakistani government and its military establishment, General Qassem Soleimani, the all-powerful commander of the IRGC Quds Force said, "I have this question for the Pakistani government - where are you heading to? You have caused unrest along borders with all your neighbours and do you have any other neighbour left that you want to stir insecurity for".
"Are you, who have atomic bombs, unable to destroy a terrorist group with several hundred members in the region?" Gen Soleimani asked, adding that Pakistan should not test Iran’s resolve.
Even the top aide of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi came out with all his guns blazing at Pakistan, saying "These criminal outlaws were from one of the tribes of Balochistan who had been trained on suicide operations in the neighbouring country, and the neighbouring country and the ISI should account to the Iranian government and nation and the IRGC for how they have crossed the borders of that country and why this neighbouring country has turned into a safe haven and a place for training and dispatch of these infidel terrorist grouplets (to Iran)".
Ali Jafari, commander of the IRGC said, "Pakistan should know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani intelligence organisation’s support for Jeish al-Zolm (as Jaish al-Adl is called in Iran) from now on and this price will no doubt be very heavy for them". "Undoubtedly, the Pakistani security organisation knows the hideout of the grouplets but it has kept mum," he added.
Rahmatullah Nabil, former chief of Afghanistan intelligence agency and a contender in the upcoming presidential elections, said "Pakistan has been using terrorism as a tool and tactic,” Nabil was quoted as saying to an interviewer. “India should have done this (Balakot strikes) much earlier".
"I hope Iran will also take action against Jaish al-Adl. Because if the US leaves the region — and we hope they leave behind a good legacy — but if they simply withdraw, that will give a sense of victory to all terrorist networks not just in the region but on the other side as well," Nabil was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, India and Iran are likely to hold talks during the next round of foreign office consultations to formulate strategies about their counter-terrorism cooperation. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale was also scheduled to travel to Iran over the weekend but the trip was postponed in the wake of Indo-Pak tension across LoC.