Date :Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 | Time : 08:06 |ID: 71789 | Print

Ahvaz terror attack: Iran blames US and regional terror sponsors

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SHAFAQNA- At least 25 people are dead and 60 others wounded after gunmen fired on a military parade in Iran on Saturday. The parade was being held to mark the anniversary of the start of the war with Iraq in 1980. Four unidentified assailants fired bullets at the civilian crowd watching the ceremony at around 9 am local time. The attack targeted a stand where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s war with Iraq. Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and civilians, including a child were among those killed.

At least 29 people, including children, have been killed in a terrorist attack on a military parade in south-west Iran, responsibility for which has been claimed by both Islamic State and a separatist group, The Guardian told.

Members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and soldiers from the country’s army as well as civilians, including children, were among the victims.

Gunmen opened fire on people from behind a viewing stand at Qods Boulevard of Ahvaz during the morning parade held to mark the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein‘s invasion of Iran in the 1980s.

“Individuals disguised in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Basij uniforms fired at officials and people from behind the stand, leaving a number of innocent people including women and children martyred or injured,” Governor of Khuzestan Province Gholamreza Shariati said , Press TV reported.

A four years old child among the victims

Photographs taken in the aftermath of the attack showed soldiers carrying wounded children away from the scene.

One image taken by the semi-official Isna news agency showed a soldier holding an injured young boy who later died. Irna identified him as Mohammad-Taha Eghdami.

His father, Sa’dollah Eghdami, told Irna: “My four-year-old Taha had come to watch the pageant, he was supposed to go to nursery tomorrow but they martyred him in front of my own eyes in the most brutal way.” He said his wife was being treated in hospital for injuries.

Other soldiers were seen shielding children on the ground from potential further attacks. A veteran from the 1980s Iran-Iraq war was killed in his wheelchair.

Arab nationalist separatist group claimed responsibility for the attack

Various press outlets, including CNN and Reuters, say that an Arab nationalist separatist group, called the Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz, claimed responsibility for the attack. The spokesperson Yagoub Hor Altasteri told the London-based Iran International TV network that the attack was aimed at “the Revolutionary Guards and the armed forces of the Islamic Republic”.

Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, called on the British media regulator Ofcom to investigate Iran International – which is run by a company owned by a Saudi national – for airing the interview.

According to the New York Times, Arab separatists groups have operated in the region for years. But they are previously only known to have conducted oil pipeline bombings at night, the AP reports.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack

ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack on the parade, at which it wrongly suggested the Iranian president was speaking. Hassan Rouhani was speaking at a parade in the capital, Tehran, instead.

The ISIS-affiliated A’maq media has released a statement, claiming responsibility for the terror attack.

The terror group has posted photos of a separate military parade in Tehran in the presence of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, claiming the photos showed the parade that had come under attack, MHN told .

According to BBC, no video footage or photos of the incident have been published on the A’maq.

Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for the Iranian military, said the attack was not the responsibility of ISIS, but of terrorists who he claimed were trained and organised by “two Persian Gulf countries linked to the US and [Israel’s] Mossad agency”.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the attackers were affiliated to a terrorist group supported by Saudi Arabia.

“The individuals who fired at the people and the armed forces during the parade are connected to the al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Sharif said the shooting is not unprecedented and the group which is also supported by the UK has attacked convoys of those visiting the former frontlines in Saddam’s war on Iran in recent years.

Ayatollah Khamenei: This crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attack was linked to the United States’ “allies in the region”.

“This crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States, and their goal is to create insecurity in our dear country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a statement, Aljazeera reported.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered security forces to identify those responsible for the violence, NYtimes said.

The attack occurred a day before Rouhani heads to New York to address the annual U.N. General Assembly next week.

Regional terror sponsors and their US masters organizing the attack

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused “regional terror sponsors and their US masters” of organizing the attack, Sputniknews reported.

“Terrorists recruited, trained, armed and paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, in an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia.

Zarif said that Tehran will respond to Ahvaz terrorist attack quickly and firmly.

The National Security Commission is slated to look into this issue

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Ali Najafi said “Definitely, the perpetrators of the incident will be identified and punished soon.”

The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission is slated to look into this issue on Sunday with the presence of representatives of relevant organizations, he said, adding that following the meeting, a report will be provided in this regard

The attack took place in the capital of the oil-rich Khuzistan

The attack took place in the capital of the oil-rich Khuzistan province which is home to the country’s Arab minority.

Iran has not been immune to the kind of terrorist attacks seen in Europe in recent years, but attacks of such scale are rare. In June 2017, ISIS terrorists carried out two simultaneous attacks in Tehran against the Iranian parliament building and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, killing 17 civilians and wounding 43.

Russia cooperation with Iran in war on terror

The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in a statement on Saturday denounced the terrorist attack in the Iranian southwestern city of Ahvaz.

“The Secretary-General condemns the attack today in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz, which reportedly left many dead, including children,” Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for Secretary-General quoted Guterres as saying in a statement released in UN Secretary General website on Saturday, Irna reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani after a deadly terrorist attack at a military parade in Ahvaz and confirmed readiness to boost cooperation with Iran in war on terror, a telegram published on the Kremlin’s website said.

Syria vehemently condemned the terrorist attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz to the southwest of Iran, stressing that terror-adopters in the region will not be able to achieve their schemes through such crimes, SANA reported.

The incident comes at a critical time for Iran’s ruling elite as they try to contain the fallout from the U.S. decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal and re-impose crippling economic sanctions against the country. The Islamic Republic is also engaged in a proxy confrontation with Saudi Arabia and Israel across regional conflicts from Syria to Yemen.


Read more from shafaqna:

Terror attack on military parade in Ahvaz, Iran +Video

Zarif: Iran will respond Decisively to Ahvaz terror attack

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