Iran’s Foreign Ministry has once again called on Pakistan to apprehend and extradite the perpetrators of a recent terrorist attack on Iranian border guards.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday that Tehran seeks the implementation of the security agreement between Iran and Pakistan and the extradition of the terrorists behind the October 25 attack to the Islamic Republic.
Fourteen Iranian border guards were killed and three others were injured in the attack that took place in the border region of Saravan in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan.
The assailants had infiltrated into Iran from Pakistan and fled back to Pakistani territory following the attack.
In February, Iran and Pakistan signed a security agreement, under which both countries are required to cooperate in preventing and combating organized crime, fighting terrorism and countering the activities that pose a threat to the national security of either country.
Afkham said Iran’s embassy in Pakistan is pursuing the issue and a number of Iranian officials will pay a visit to Islamabad as soon as possible.
Zarif’s visit to France
Commenting on a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to France, Afkham said he will hold talks with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
Afkham added that the two foreign ministers will discuss bilateral as well as important regional and international issues such as Iran’s nuclear energy program and the ongoing crisis in Syria.
Zarif left Iran’s capital, Tehran, on Tuesday for Paris to participate in the 37th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where he is slated to deliver a speech as a special guest.
After wrapping up his visit to Paris, Zarif will head to Geneva, Switzerland, where the next round of the negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain – plus Germany will be held on November 7-8.
Alleged US espionage on Leader’s visit to Kurdistan
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman commented on recent media reports that alleged the United States spied on a visit by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to Iran’s Kurdistan Province in May 2009, saying Iran will pursue the issue.
The spying allegations were reported by the Star Tribune on November 2. The report cited documents related to the US National Security Agency (NSA) leaked by American whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Afkham also denounced cyber spying, stressing that Iran supports international efforts aimed at countering such illegal moves and securing the cyber space.
Iran’s presence in Geneva II conference
Responding to a question regarding Iran’s presence in the planned Geneva conference on the crisis in Syria, Afkham said the Islamic Republic has not received any invitation to attend conference yet.
The Iranian official further reaffirmed Iran’s preparation to help with the settlement of the crisis, reiterating, however, that the country will not accept any preconditions for taking part in the talks.
Hagel’s remarks on nuclear talks
Afkham also reacted to recent comments by US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel regarding Iran’s nuclear talks with six major powers – the US, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany – and said such remarks show the West’s wrong perception of the talks.
Hagel claimed on Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threats against the Islamic Republic along with the economic sanctions imposed on the country pushed Tehran to engage in the talks over its nuclear energy program.
The Iranian official rejected Hagel’s statements as “groundless” and said, “Sanctions have not had any impact on the Iranian nation and they will not lead to any policy change in Iran.”