The Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said that terrorists have kidnapped a number Iranian sevicemembers in the southeastern Sistan-and-Baluchestan province, at the Pakistani border, on October 16th.
The IRGC released a statement saying that local Basij volunteer forces and border guards had been among those abducted overnight near the town of Mirjaveh on the Pakistani border. Members of “terrorist groups led and backed by foreign services” carried out the kidnappings by “deceiving and bribing infiltrators.”
According to the statement, the IRGC is preparing to chase the terrorists and secure the release of the kidnapped persons.
Earlier in the day, Iranian media reported that 14 people had been abducted. The Fars News agency later redacted the number to 11. The IRGC has not confirmed any number.
Following the incident, on October 17th, Tehran called on Islamabad to adhere to its commitments under bilateral security agreements. The Iranian side emphasized on the need for a joint operation to rescue the abducted.
Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli urged his Pakistani counterpart to “spare no effort” in securing the release of the kidnapped Iranian forces.
Earlier on the same day, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif held a phone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, to follow up on the fate of the kidnapped border guards.
Zarif highlighted the need to strengthen security at common borders based on previous mutual agreements and talks. Qureshi, in turn, strongly denounced the “inhumane” act of terror against Iranian forces and expressed deep regret over the incident. The Pakistani minister pledged that Islamabad would make every effort “to identify and arrest the perpetrators of the incident and secure the release of the Iranian border guards.” He further said that these terrorists are enemies to both Iran and Pakistan.
Jaish ul-Adl, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Iranian border guards have repeatedly come under attack from terrorist groups, which are active in Pakistan.
Iran also has issues along its border with Afghanistan, as well as its border with Iraq.
On October 6th, Iranian border guards disbanded a three-member team of gunmen as they were trying to cross from Afghanistan. One of the gunmen was killed in the clash. Border Police Commander Brigadier General Ghassem Rezaei said that the three were drug smugglers. One of them was wounded and the third one surrendered.
“Iran’s border guards use all their capability to preserve and secure the country’s territory, decisively confronting all instances of insecurity along the border,” the commander asserted.
Along the Iran-Iraq border there are problems with Iraqi-based Kurdish militants. In July militants killed at least 10 Iranian border guards when they attacked a border post.
On September 9th, IRGC fired missiles on the Kurdish militants in the mountain area of the Iran-Iraq border.
The tensions along Iranian borders grow further they may contribute to at least partial destabilization of the Iranian border provinces. Some persons in the Teheran leadership see that this scenario could be supported by foreign powers involved in the conflicts with Iran.