At Least 25 Dead, 60 Wounded In Military Parade Attack In Iran

Courtesy MGN

But in the hours following the attack, state media and government officials seemed to come to the consensus that Arab separatists in the region were responsible.

But while violence and bomb attacks are not uncommon on both Iran's western and eastern frontiers - bordering Iraq and Afghanistan respectively - audacious and organized assaults that directly target the Islamic Republic's security services in city centers are still rare.

He blamed Saudi Arabia for fueling the movement.

The US has denied this and says it condemns "any terrorist attack".

It added that the terrorist crime committed in Ahvaz by the ruthless stooges of the global arrogance and reactionary regimes in the region revealed that the sworn enemies of Iran spare no effort and conspiracy to transfer insecurity into the country after their failure to achieve their ominous goals.

State-run news agency IRNA reported gunmen were dressed in guard uniforms and targeted a platform where military and police commanders were sitting.

On June 7, 2017, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks in Tehran on the parliament building and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini - the first inside Iran claimed by the Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic State group.

Saturday's attack, in which militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in Ahvaz, was the deadliest attack in the country in almost a decade.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran on the United States and its "allies in the region".

"The United States stands with the Iranian people and encourages the regime in Tehran to focus on keeping them safe at home", Marquis said in an emailed statement.

Four militants attacked a parade commemorating the beginning of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, launched by Baghdad, in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan Province.

The attack dominated Iranian newspaper front pages on Sunday. State television immediately described the assailants as "takfiri gunmen", a term previously used to describe the Islamic State group.

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There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia on Rouhani's allegations.

"Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz", Zarif said in a tweet, adding: "Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their U.S. masters accountable for such attacks".

The shooting lasted for about 10 minutes.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) has been the sword and shield of Shi'ite clerical rule in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack in the city of Ahvaz.

Speaking before leaving Tehran to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, Rouhani accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of providing financial and military support for anti-government ethnic Arab groups.

Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards official, has vowed retaliation for the attack.

The incident comes as the Iranian government tries to parry what it sees as a USA -led war on its economy after President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

He was referring to a group Tehran claims is backed by its arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

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

Details about the attack remained unclear immediately afterward.

Following the attack on Saturday, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani issued instructions to the Ministry of Intelligence to mobilize all facilities of the security and military apparatuses to quickly "identify the terrorists and their links" noting that "those who support the terrorists should be held accountable".

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