Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Hezbollah condemns Iran terror attack as death toll rises to 16

Hezbollah condemns Iran terror attack as death toll rises to 16

The attack came as emboldened Sunni Arab states - backed by U.S. president Donald Trump - are hardening their stance against Iran.

The attack came as emboldened Sunni Arab states - backed by U.S. President Donald Trump - are hardening their stance against Shiite-ruled Iran.

Trump said he prayed for the victims of the twin attacks targeting Iran's parliament and a key shrine, but added that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote".

Authorities raised the death toll in the two Islamic State-claimed attacks on Iran's parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader to 16.

Greek Foreign Ministry also flatly denounced the terror attacks in the Iranian capital.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also slammed the raids and said, "We extend our deep condolences and sympathy for the victims and their families, and the Iranian people".

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In the other attack at the shrine of Imam Khomeini, one suicide bomber blew himself up while the second one was killed in a gunfight.

"The five known terrorists... after joining the Daesh (IS) terrorist group, left the country and participated in crimes carried out by this terrorist group in Mosul and Raqqa", the ministry said in a statement.

However, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has downplayed the attack's significance, saying terrorists "fumbling with firecrackers" would not "affect the will of our nation".

IS has threatened to step up recruitment within Iran, releasing its first Persian-language video in March in which it threatened to "conquer Iran and restore it to the Sunni Muslim nation as it was before". He told a group of students that if "Iran had not resisted", it would have faced even more troubles.

The comments sparked anger from Iranians on social media, who recalled the vigils in Tehran that followed the September 11 attacks.

Just recently, hours after suspected ISIS terrorists hit Iran's parliament and the shrine of its former supreme leader Khomeini in Tehran, the US president offered half-hearted condolences to the Iranian nation.

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His tweet referred to the vote by U.S. senators yesterday to move forward with a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran "in relation to Iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of global terrorism, and violations of human rights".

"Repugnant WH statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by United States clients".

The distrust of Iran was evident on Wednesday when shortly after the condemnation, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate acted in a procedural vote to move forward on a new set of sanctions on Tehran, including its elite Revolutionary Guards.

Iranian intelligence agencies claim to have foiled a number of IS-inspired plots.

Parliament was in session as the violence unfolded and members were keen to show they were undeterred, continuing with regular business.

"We are focused on intelligence" gathering, he said.

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