Iran blames US, Israel for gunmen attack on military parade
Gunmen disguised as soldiers attacked an annual military parade in the southwest Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, killing 25 and wounding dozens of people. 12 of those killed are reported to be members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
State television said the assault, which wounded more than 60 people, targeted a stand where Iranian officials were gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.
Following the attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed to respond “swiftly and decisively”. He claimed that the terrorists were sponsored and trained by “a foreign regime.”
A spokesman for the Iranian military said the attackers were trained by two Gulf states, and are connected to Israel and the U.S.
“These terrorists… were trained and organized by two … Gulf countries,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi told the official news agency IRNA. “They are not from ISIS or other groups fighting (Iran’s) Islamic system … but they are linked to America and the Mossad.”
Iranian President Hassan Rohani ordered security forces to “use all their power” to identify military parade attackers.
Early reports Saturday described the assailants as “Takifiri gunmen,” a term previously used to describe the ISIS terror group.
An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the attack. All four attackers were killed. ISIS terrorists also claimed responsibility. Neither claim provided evidence.