Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Tehran: Attackers Were Iranian and Fought With ISIS

Iranian officials said on June 8 that 17 victims were killed and more than 40 wounded in the attacks a day earlier - the first major attacks in Iran for which the extremist group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility. While it has long called for attacks in Iran, in recent months Isis propaganda has been released in Farsi with the aim of recruiting the country's Sunni minority.

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi told IRNA on Thursday that it is clear Saudi Arabia supports terrorist groups but it is too soon to say whether it was involved in the Parliament and mausoleum strikes.

"Last year, they returned to carry out terrorist attacks in the holy cities of Iran", the ministry continued.

Multiple attackers used suicide bombs and rifles to kill more than a dozen people and wounding even more before all five were killed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet on Thursday called the White House comments "repugnant" and accused the USA of supporting terror.

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In a separate message to Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, the Kazakh parliament speaker condemned the attacks claimed by the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group and expressed his sympathy for the families of the victims.

That was condemned by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted: "Repugnant WH (White House) Iranians counter terror backed by USA clients".

Although the United States military is also fighting IS in Syria, as well as Iraq, Trump said in response to the attacks in Iran that the country is reaping what it sows.

Reza Seifollahi, an official in the country's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by Iranian media as saying that the perpetrators of the attacks were Iranian nationals. And Zarif, the foreign minister, also said: "Terror-sponsoring despots threaten to bring the fight to our homeland".

He said anti-Iranian remarks by Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and US President Donald Trump are a "matter of disgrace" for them.

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Saudi Arabia has denied involvement, Reuters reports.

"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 Raqa", the intelligence ministry said in a statement.

This week's attacks at Parliament and the mausoleum of the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini have exposed shortcomings within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was supposed to be protecting these potent symbols of Iran's revolution.

Trump issued a statement after the attack offering condolences for the victims, while also taking a swipe at Iran. 'Iranian people reject such USA claims of friendship, ' he added on Twitter.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility and threatened more attacks against Iran's majority-Shi'ite population, seen by the hardline Sunni militants as heretics.

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