Iran says U.S. ally behind military parade attack

Pauline Gross
September 24, 2018

A deadly assault on an Iranian Revolutionary Guards parade dealt a stunning blow to Iran's security establishment, which has often said it can repel any threat no matter how big, even from the United States and its chief Middle East ally Israel.

Islamic State's Amaq agency has posted a video of three men in a vehicle who it said were on their way to carry out an attack on an Iranian military parade.

Arab separatists groups have operated in the region for years, according to the New York Times.

Rouhani could have been referring to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain, all of which are close USA military allies. "It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes", Mr. Rouhani said. Women and children scattered along with once-marching Revolutionary Guard soldiers as heavy gunfire rang out in Ahvaz, the chaos captured live on state television.

The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) also issued a statement on Sunday saying those behind the terror attack will soon face "deadly and unforgettable revenge".

Yesterday morning, Iran summoned diplomats from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark, accusing them of harbouring Iranian opposition groups.

He also said Iran had warned the United Arab Emirates over "offensive remarks" attributed to a UAE "political advisor" following the attack.

Iran's foreign minister is blaming regional countries and their "U.S. masters" for an attack on a military parade that killed at least eight people.

"Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives", Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against Isis in Iraq and has aided embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country's long war.

Gunmen disguised as soldiers in military uniforms, began shooting from behind the stands during the parade, according to the state-run news agency.

Compared to regional peers, Iran has suffered only sporadic attacks in recent years.

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Hezbollah in a statement said "satanic and malignant hands are behind this terrorist action", and accused the United States and its allies of conducting the attack "directly or by proxy".

Rouhani engineered Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Most of the victims are women and children watching a parade commemorating the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran has previously alleged that Saudi Arabia supports separatist activity among Iran's Arab minority.

"The overriding concern right now is the economic crisis and the impact of USA sanctions, linked to Iran's regional contest with Riyadh and conflicts such as Syria, Yemen, and Iraq", he adds.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE view Iran as a regional menace and have long accused it of meddling in other countries' affairs.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had previously announced that Trump would chair a "special session" of the Security Council on Wednesday to address "Iran's violations of worldwide law" and to encourage crippling punishments. The Trump administration has said that changing Iran's system of government is not U.S. policy.

However, Iranian officials have seized on the fact the separatists immediately made their claim of responsibility on a Saudi-linked, Farsi-language satellite news channel based in Britain.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has accused "regional states that are puppets of the US", while a spokesman for the armed forces said the gunmen were trained by two Gulf Arab states with links to the U.S. and Israel.

- July 20, 2018: at least 10 Revolutionary Guards are killed in an attack led by insurgents against a base in the village of Dari, in the Marivan district of Iran's northwestern Kurdistan region. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

CNN can not verify the authenticity of the video, which Amaq said it "obtained" and published on Sunday, a day after the attack that killed 29 people and wounded 70 others. "Many people are scared". It reportedly includes a military wing as well as political entities, including the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz.

Other reports by GizPress

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