Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on the Iraqi government to provide security for Iranian pilgrims visiting holy sites in the country.
In a telephone conversation with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari on Monday, Salehi denounced Friday’s deadly terrorist attack against Iranian pilgrims in Iraq.
“It is essential that the Iraqi government puts necessary effort into its responsibilities in ensuring the security of pilgrims of holy sites,” the Iranian foreign minister stated.
Zebari, for his part, expressed regret over the recent terrorist attack on Iranian pilgrims and said Baghdad would spare no efforts to counter this ominous phenomenon and to protect Iranians making pilgrimage to holy sites.
The two ministers agreed that an Iranian delegation would travel to Iraq to discuss ways to ensure security for pilgrims.
Sixteen Iranian pilgrims were killed in a terrorist bomb attack in the Iraqi city of Muqdadiyah in Diyala Province, about 80 km northeast of the capital Baghdad, on Friday morning.
The blast, killing nearly 20 people overall, ripped through the pilgrims’ bus, which was heading for the holy city of Najaf. At least 45 others, many of them thought to be Iranians, were also wounded in the bombing.