* Iran commander wants to hunt bombers in Pakistan
* Foreign Minister wants talks with Pakistan
By Hossein Jaseb
TEHRAN, Oct 20 A senior Iranian Revolutionary
Guards commander on Tuesday said his force should be given
permission to hunt down "terrorists" inside neighbouring
Pakistan, state television reported.
Iran says the Sunni rebel group Jundollah (God's soldiers),
which has claimed a suicide bombing in southeastern Iran that
killed 42 people on Sunday, operates from across the border in
Pakistan. The attack killed several senior Guards commanders.
The television report, which gave no direct quotes, said the
commander of the Guards' ground forces, Mohammad Pakpour, called
for the "issuing of necessary permissions allowing the Guards to
confront terrorists on Pakistani soil".
It did not give details or specify whether he was referring
to authorisation for such an operation from the Pakistani
government or from Iranian authorities.
Guards commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Monday
Jundollah had ties with U.S., British and Pakistani intelligence
Washington, London and Islamabad have all denied involvement
in Sunday's suicide bombing attack in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan
province which borders both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
On Monday, an Iranian MP also raised the prospect of a
possible cross-border military operation into Pakistan against
the militants blamed for Sunday's attack.
"There is unanimity about the Revolutionary Guards and the
security forces engaging in operations in any place they would
deem necessary," ISNA news agency quoted MP Payman Forouzesh as
saying, appearing to refer to agreement on the issue among
"There is even unanimity that these operations (could) take
place in Pakistan territory," said the representative from
Sunday's attack was the deadliest such incident in Iran
since its 1980-88 war with Iraq.
Thousands of people, many of them military men, attended the
funeral ceremony at a Guards base in Tehran on Tuesday, holding
pictures of the victims and of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
"Khamenei, we are ready for martyrdom," one banner read.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the perpetrators
were based in Pakistan and carried out cross-border raids.
"Members of this terrorist group regularly violate the
border and launch attacks inside Iran," he told a news
conference. "The hands of those behind the crimes in
southeastern Iran must be cut."
He said Iran and Pakistan would hold talks on how to resolve
the issue, saying they shared a "border of friendship".
(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Reza Derakhshi; writing by
Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Angus MacSwan)