Iran's Khamenei says the attackers were paid by Saudis and UAE

A general view shows an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz Iran in this
After attack in Iran, the US offers a muted response
Author

25 September, 2018

Funerals are underway in Iran for the victims of the weekend terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

Gunmen opened fire on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) parade in Ahvaz on Saturday organized to commemorate the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Describing the attack on defenseless people as an act of cowardice, the Leader noted, "According to [available] reports, this cowardly act has been perpetrated by the same people who are saved by Americans whenever they face a hard situation in Iraq and Syria" and whose operations are being financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"Iran's answer (to this attack) is forthcoming within the framework of law and our national interests", said Mr Rouhani, adding that the U.S. would regret its "aggressiveness".

Reuters reported that Islamic State's Amaq agency posted a video that purportedly showed three men in a vehicle on their way to the parade.

Soon after the attack, the U.S. State Department issued a statement of sympathy to Iran, calling out what spokesperson Heather Nauert called "the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism". Among the dead were 12 members of the Guard.

He also said US sanctions against Iran were illegal and President Donald Trump was using them as a tool for "personal revenge".

Speaking at the funeral ceremony for people who were killed in the attack, Salami also referred to the exchange of accusations and attacks between Iran and Israel that took place this past spring, saying, "The Americans should know too and we warn them".

Iranian leaders accused the United States of complicity in the attacks in Ahvaz.

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But that remark came a week after Trump and Rouhani traded threats, and Iran's leadership replied by saying the time for talks was before, not after, Trump withdrew the USA from the Iran nuclear deal. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps spokesman told the outlet, "The attack by some elements of al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia, aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the parade by the Iranian armed forces".

Two groups have claimed responsibility for the attack: the ethnic Arab antigovernment Ahvaz National Resistance and the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

It is, however, highly unlikely the Guards will strike any of its foes directly and risk setting off a regional conflict.

Rohani and U.S. President Donald Trump are both attending the UN General Assembly in NY this week.

It also has steadily ramped up pressure on Iran to try to get it to stop what Washington calls "malign activities" in the region.

Iran is at odds with Western-allied Gulf country Saudi Arabia for predominance in the Middle East.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry said some 22 people had been arrested in connection with the attack.

Asked if Trump would like to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, Pompeo replied: "The president has said he'll talk with anyone if we can have a constructive conversation".


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