25 Killed In Iran Terror Attack

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TEHRAN — A terror attack during a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday has left at least 25 people dead and scores others injured, reports said.

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, according to Press TV.

The attackers began firing at spectators from a park as the parade got underway, trying to force their way into the stand but were confronted by security forces. 

“Despite the intensity of the attack on the stand of the officials, none of them was hurt thanks to the rapid reaction of the security forces, Shariati said.

He said four attackers were involved, three of whom were killed and one died later of his injuries in hospital.

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An Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesmansaid 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,” said Ramzan Sahrif.

The parade in Ahvaz, a city with a population of more than a million people, was one of many happening nationwide in honor of Sacred Defense Week, marking the 38th anniversary of begining of the 8 year long Iraq-Iran war.

Ahvaz is the capital of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province which is a largely Arabic speaking Sunni Muslim dominated province.

Saturday’s attack comes after a coordinated June 7, 2017, Daesh assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran.

That attack had at that point been the only one by the Daesh inside of Islamic Republic, which has been deeply involved in the wars in Iraq and Syria where the terrorists once held vast territory.

At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the 2017 attack that saw gunmen carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives storm the parliament complex where a legislative session had been in progress, starting an hours-long siege.

Gunmen and suicide bombers also struck outside Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum on Tehran’s southern outskirts. Ayatollah Khomeini led the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Western-backed Shah.

The assault shocked Tehran, which largely has escaped terror attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution.

Ahvaz attack has come after a US-backed campaign to stir up unrest in Iranian cities fell flat. The effort, known as the ‘Hot Summer Project’, sought to whip up public anger over economic woes fuelled by tougher US sanctions.  

Supreme Leader Reacts

Reacting to the Ahvaz attack, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the terrorist attack was the continuation of ‘plots hatched by US stooges’ in the region to create insecurity in the country.

The Leader emphasized that the perpetrators and their cohorts could not tolerate the display of national strength in the Iranian Armed Forces.

“Their crime is the continuation of plots [hatched] by the US-led governments in the region who aim to create insecurity in our dear country,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the Iranian nation would continue down their honorable path and would “overcome all hostilities like in the past.”

Shortly after the terrorist attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said Iran will respond “swiftly and decisively” in defense of its people.

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“Terrorists recruited, trained, armed, and paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos [are] among casualties,” Zarif tweeted on Saturday.

Iran holds “regional terror sponsors” and their “US masters” responsible for the attack, he said.


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