The Iranian foreign ministry condemned killing of four foreign cyclists who were attacked by at least one assailant with a gun and knife after being run down by a vehicle in Southern Tajikistan, dismissing any relation to the crime.
“We condemn any terrorist act in different parts of the world, including the recent incident against the foreign tourists in Tajikistan,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.
He blasted the Tajik interior ministry’s negative statement against Iran after the incident, and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran categorically dismisses any relation with this incident and existence of a base on its soil to train for sabotage acts and is ready to cooperate with relevant Tajik officials to study the dimensions of this issue.”
Qassemi expressed the hope that Iran and Tajikistan would further expand ties and do not allow enemies to distort their relations by raising such baseless allegations.
The ISIL terrorist group claimed responsibility for the killing of four foreign cyclists in Tajikistan.
The group’s Amaq news agency published the claim on July 30.
The attackers “were soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries,” a statement by the group said.
Earlier on July 30, Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda said in Dushanbe that a governmental group had been formed to investigate the incident, in which two Americans, one Dutchman, and a Swiss citizen were killed.
Three other foreigners – including one French citizen – were injured in the July 29 incident, in the Danghara district of the Khatlon region, about 150 kilometers South of the capital.