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Iran Says US, Gulf Allies Financed Group Behind Ahvaz Attack

  • A general view of the attack during the military parade in Ahvaz, Iran Sept. 22, 2018.

    A general view of the attack during the military parade in Ahvaz, Iran Sept. 22, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 September 2018
Opinion

An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Sunday accused U.S.-backed Gulf Arab states of providing financial and military support for anti-government ethnic Arab groups in Iran behind Saturday's attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in which 25 people died.

Speaking before leaving Tehran to attend the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York, Rouhani said Iran was ready to confront the United States and its Gulf Arab allies and called the U.S. a "bully" that wants to create insecurity in the Islamic Republic.

Saturday's assault, which wounded at least 70 people, targeted a viewing stand where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic's 1980-88 war with neighboring Iraq.

An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance, which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, claimed responsibility for the attack.

So did the Islamic State group, which also claimed responsibility for a 2017 attack at the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, which left 18 dead. Neither group has presented proof of their involvement.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards vowed on Sunday to wreak "deadly and unforgettable" vengeance for a shooting attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, including 12 of their comrades.

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