US, regional allies responsible for Iran terror attack: FM

Minnie Murray
September 22, 2018

Iran's foreign minister blamed regional countries and their "U.S. masters" for an attack on a military parade. The death toll is expected to increase, as numerous wounded are in critical condition.

Before we cheer too hard that Iran got hit, it should be noted that past attacks in Iran have forced crackdowns on all dissidents, not just Arabs.

At least eight members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite military force, died in the attack.

Officials said the gunmen were terrorists, but so far, no specific group has come forward to claim responsibility.

Tehran has blamed the attack on "regional terror sponsors and their United States masters".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier he held a USA ally in the region responsible. Children and journos among casualties.

The assault by alleged militants marks one of the deadliest attacks in Iran in years and threatened to raise tensions in a region already plagued by turmoil. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives.

Shariati said that none of the officials participating in the military parades in Ahvaz city in Khouzestan province was injured in the attack.

According to local media, the terrorists also meant to attack the military commanders and officials on the podium but they were wounded by the security forces.

It has been reported that two of the assailants have been killed and two others arrested, Mehr reported.

But in the hours following the attack, state-run media is now reporting the Al-Ahwaz separatist group claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Similarly, Reuters and others described the incident as an "attack" instead of a terrorist one, whereas they have been quick to use "terrorist attack" for similar incidents that have taken place in Europe over the past few years.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "puppets of the US" were trying to "create insecurity" in Iran.

The attack came earlier in the day as rows of Revolutionary Guardsmen marched down Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard, with local TV outlets broadcasting the exact moment gunfire erupted and marching soldiers and local spectators began falling. Neither claim provided evidence.

At least 24 people were killed and 53 others injured in an attack on a military parade in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday, Iran's state news IRNA said.

Armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said that the dead included a young girl and a former serviceman in a wheelchair.

"But they are linked to America and Mossad", Israel's intelligence agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday denounced the attack on an army parade in Iran, offering condolences to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and calling for deeper anti-terror cooperation.

The statement was posted on Amaq accounts on on messaging application Telegram.

"We hope that all the perpetrators will bear the punishment they deserve", he said. "Wherever it happens terrorism must be condemned", he wrote. The province, once known as Arabistan before Shah Reza Pahlavi annexed it in 1925 by overthrowing the ruling sheikh, is home to a decades old separatist movement.

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