Despite our reservations about an authoritarian, theocratic regime in Iran, the country offers a worthy example by punishing rogue elements (sectarian terrorists of Jundullah and Sipah-e-Sahaba) who have crept into Baloch nationalist movement in Iran and Pakistan.
This swift action by the Iranian government (police, army and judiciary) in arresting and punishing those responsible for suicide attacks is a useful example, something which is currently lacking in the state of Pakistan where the ISI is known for its support to jihadi-sectarian groups and the judiciary remains infested with the pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (pro-Taliban) judges.
Iran hangs 11 extremist Deobandi/Wahhabi terrorists, urges Pakistan to act
Mon Dec 20, 2010
* Jundollah claimed Dec. 15 suicide bombs that killed 39
* Iran says rebels take refuge over Pakistan border
* Army official says Rev Guards able to deal with them
By Mitra Amiri
TEHRAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Iran hanged 11 people linked to the Deobanid/Wahhabi terrorist group that killed 39 people in a mosque bombing, the Justice Ministry said on Monday, and an army official urged Pakistan to root out the “terrorists” across the border.
“The people of Sistan-Baluchestan province, in their continuing campaign against the elements of cruelty and insecurity, hanged 11 people at Zahedan prison,” the ministry said in a statement on the semi-official Fars news agency.
“These corrupt and Mohareb [an enemy of God] elements have been identified and arrested by security and intelligence forces,” Ebrahim Hamidi, the head of the provincial justice department, said.
The Irna news agency quoted him as saying: “The sentence was carried out after receiving confirmation from the country’s senior judicial bodies.”
It said those executed were all supporters of Jundollah, the group that Iran says is linked to al Qaeda and which claimed a double suicide bombing of Shi’ite worshippers in the southeastern province bordering Pakistan on Dec. 15.
Iran hoped it had neutralised Jundollah when it executed its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, in June. But the mosque bombing in the town of Chabahar, which wounded more than 100 people, was the latest action by the group to show it is fighting back.
Jundollah says it fights for the rights of the Baluch people, an ethnic minority it says faces “genocide”.
The families of the bombing victims sent a letter to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari calling for “serious measures” against Jundollah and other “terrorist” groups, echoing a call from some Iranian officials.
“These anti-revolutionary groups which have been given shelter in neighbouring countries like Pakistan and are being supported there should be pursued and suppressed on Pakistani soil,” Qolamali Rashid, a senior military official, said according to Fars.
“The land forces of the Revolutionary Guard have the ability to do this,” he said, referring to Iran’s elite military force.
A member of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee said on Sunday that “Pakistan should be served notice” to destroy what he called terrorist training camps.
“If the Pakistan government refused to take measures to destroy the terrorist centres in that country, then the Islamic Republic would have the right to take steps and make the atmosphere unsafe for the terrorists in defence of its own nationals,” Kazem Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency.
“If Pakistan fails to control and prevent terrorist measures at its borders … we will make use of our legitimate rights,” the armed forces chief of staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said.
Relatives of some of the 39 people killed in last week’s mosque bombing, in the port city of Chabahar, have also asked Pakistan to crack down on the group.
The Chabahar attack happened during a religious ceremony on the eve of Ashoura, Iran’s biggest Shia religious holiday. Security officials said there was evidence the bombers were “supported by regional intelligence services”.
Jundollah has a long history of targeting civilians. Often said by Tehran to be secretly backed by the US, Britain or Israel, it has reportedly used bases in Pakistan to mount operations in Sistan-Baluchistan, which has an ethnic Baluchi Sunni majority.
The US and Britain both consider it to be a terrorist organisation.
Jundollah’s last big bomb attack was on a Zahedan mosque in July, on another Shia religious holiday. The bombing, described as retaliation for the execution of the group’s captured leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, killed 28 people, including members of the Revolutionary Guard.