US, regional allies responsible for Iran terror attack: FM

Geneva Stokes
September 22, 2018

Dozens of people, including women and children, were killed in an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency said 24 people were killed and 53 wounded in an attack on a military parade in the country's oil-rich southwest.

A child and a woman are among the injured following the attack in Ahvaz, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

He added that none of the terrorists could escape, noting that other reports about the details of the attack are not confirmed.

The bloodshed struck a blow to security in OPEC oil producer Iran, which has been relatively stable compared with neighboring Arab countries that have grappled with upheaval since the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East.

Protests against the government and its handling of the economy that erupted across many provinces late a year ago also took place in some cities in Khuzestan, which reported some of the most violent protests.

Khamenei ordered security forces to bring to justice those responsible for one of the worst assaults ever against the Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful and heavily armed military force in the country, which answers to him.

Dramatic footage in a video being shared on social media shows the crowd dropping to the floor as the rattle of gunfire is heard in the background. "There are several killed and injured", a correspondent told state television.

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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. Another responded: "From behind us".

Those attackers were identified as members of Iran's Sunni Kurdish minority who had joined the Islamic State. Ahvaz lies in Khuzestan, a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab community and has seen separatist violence in the past, which Iran has blamed on its regional rivals. He did not elaborate.

"These terrorists. were trained and organised by two". "But they are linked to America and Mossad", Israel's intelligence agency.

There was no immediate Gulf Arab comment on his remarks.

Yaghub Hur Totsari, a spokesman for one of the two groups that identify themselves as the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, said the Ahwaz National Resistance, an umbrella organization of all armed movements, was behind the attack but did not specify which group.

Early reports indicate that at least eight armed forces personnel, as well as the bodyguard of Khuzestan's IRGC commander, have been martyred in the attack. "The Iranian people and the armed forces will respond to this", he was quoted by IRNA as saying.

President Donald Trump decided in May to pull the United States out of the 2015 worldwide nuclear deal with Tehran and reimpose sanctions in a bid to isolate the Islamic Republic.

But attacks on regime targets inside major cities are far rarer.

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