Iran says key agents behind Ahvaz 'terror attack' arrested

Aaron Brown
September 25, 2018

Iran's intelligence minister said on Monday (Sept 24) that a "large" network of suspects have been arrested in connection with last Saturday's attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, including 12 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

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.

Iranian boys hold images of one of the victims, 4-year-old Mohammad Taha Eghdami, during a public funeral ceremony for those killed in the attack in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 24. At least 25 people have died and 60 others injured in the terrorist attack.

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

"This cowardly act was the work of those very individuals who are rescued by the Americans whenever they are in trouble and who are funded by the Saudis and the (United) Arab Emirates", Khamenei's official Twitter account quoted him as saying.

Senior commanders of the IRGC have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America.

In recent days Iran has threatened the USA with "devastating" revenge after it blamed the country for a deadly attack on a Revolutionary Guards parade. "You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done", Hossein Salami said in a speech before the funeral of the victims broadcast live on the state television.

The former New York Mayor told an Iranian opposition group that U.S. sanctions on Iran are leading to economic pain that could lead to a "successful revolution".

"We will punish the terrorists, one by one", he said.

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While no group has taken responsibility for the attack, local officials have been quick to point the finger at US, Israel or Saudi Arabia.

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 US from the Iran nuclear deal.

A spokesman for the al-Ahwaz National Resistance, an umbrella movement for Arab separatist groups fighting for independence for Khuzestan province, has said it carried out the attack.

He did not give any further details on the identity of those behind the "terrorist attack". "It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes", Rouhani said before leaving for the U.N. General Assembly in NY.

What did Iranian leaders say?

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

It answers to Ayatollah Khamenei and has an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy and air units.

Responding to Rohani's accusations, the USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the BBC that Iran should "look in the mirror" for the causes of the attack, saying that Iran had "oppressed its people for a long time". The two regional powers back opposing sides in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria as well as rival political groups in Iraq and Lebanon.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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