Iran’s deputy foreign minister criticized the West’s “unacceptable” double standards over fighting terrorism after an attack by a terrorist group claimed the lives of 25 people in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday.
Abbas Araqchi in a message posted on his twitter account on Sunday said that Western countries cannot claim that they are fighting terrorists while providing them with media and residence, IRNA reported.
Al-Ahvaziya terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday.
Shortly after the Ahvaz terrorist attack, the Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of Netherlands, Denmark and the UK’s charge d’affaires to declare Tehran’s strong protest to the European countries for giving residence permit to the terrorist group and allowing them to have activity in their countries, Araqchi said.
The al-Ahvaziya terror group, whose recruits are believed to be scattered in several European countries, including in the Netherlands and Denmark, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The terror outfit, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, has a record of carrying out acts of sabotage in Iran’s Khuzestan Province, which encompasses Ahvaz and some other towns with Arabic-speaking population.
UAE’s envoy summoned
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday Iran also summoned UAE's charge d'affaires over “idiotic” remarks made by a senior Emirati official about the terrorist attack.
The summon came after Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political adviser to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, said the attack in Ahvaz was justified and that "attacking a military target is not a terrorist act".
"Moving the battle deeper inside Iran is a declared option and will increase during the next phase,” he added.
The attack was roundly condemned by a whole host of authorities and governments in the world.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri pledged that the Islamic Republic will severely respond to Saturday’s attack.
In a message released on Sunday, Major General Baqeri urged the regional countries that have blatantly spoken about bringing insecurity into the Iranian territories to change their hostile behavior toward the country and apologize to “the great nation”.
“Otherwise, the (Iranian) Armed Forces will reserve the right to give a crushing response to hostilities toward the Iranian nation at any time and place, and will go after criminals anywhere in the world,” Major General Baqeri said.
Iran's defense minister also reacted to the attack, saying a harsh and surprising response is awaiting the terrorists.
Brigadier General Ahmad Hatami said that the enemy has been forced to attack defenseless people of Iran.
Pointing to the coincidence of Ahvaz's terrorist attack with the anniversary of Iraq’s imposed war on Iran, General Ahmad Hatami said that the same thinking that caused the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to initiate the eight-year war on the Iranian nation, today is in another form with the aim of harming the great nation of Iran and undermining the country’s sustainable security.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) also in a statement on Sunday said the terrorists behind the bloody attack will definitely face "deadly and unforgettable" revenge in the near future.
It added that the terrorist crime committed in Ahvaz by the ruthless stooges of the global arrogance and reactionary regimes in the region revealed that the sworn enemies of Iran spare no effort and conspiracy to transfer insecurity into the country after their failure to achieve their ominous goals.
They are even ready to target innocent people, including women and children, with "blind terrorist measures," the IRGC's statement read.
The IRGC said it would spare no effort to hunt for the perpetrators of terrorist measures in the region and beyond and bring them to justice.
In a related development, Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Sunday that the mercenary terrorists carried out the blind attack in Ahvaz and killed innocent people in an effort to make up for repeated failure of their masters in Iraq, Syria and other countries.
Tasnim News Agency and Press TV contributed to this story.