Thousands attend funeral for Iran attack dead

25 September, 2018, 00:24 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • A general view shows an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz Iran in this

The 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 neighbouring Iraq.

The dead from Saturday's attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, blamed on Arab separatists, ranged from a disabled war hero to a four-year-old boy. Eight members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard were also killed in one of the worst attacks suffered by Iran in years.

Four assailants were reported to have been involved in the Ahvaz assault and all were killed as Iranian troops returned fire during the attack and in the subsequent pursuit.

President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday Iran was ready to confront the USA and its Gulf Arab allies, a day after an attack on an Iranian military parade killed 29 people, including children and 12 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

A bipartisan USA group, the National Coalition To Prevent An Iranian Nuclear Weapon, released a statement this week signed by more than 50 prominent foreign policy figures claiming the Trump administration's approach to Iran has created a situation in which the regime is left with only "capitulation or war".

"Based on reports, this cowardly act was done by people who the Americans come to help when they are trapped in Syria and Iraq, and are paid by Saudi Arabia and the UAE", Khamenei said on his website.

Senior commanders of the IRGC have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America.

Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, blasted the U.S., promising "devastating" revenge.

The Guard Corps was set up after the 1979 Islamic revolution to protect the Shi'ite clerical ruling system and revolutionary values.


When asked whether that meant Trump would be willing to sit down with Iran's ayatollah, Pompeo replied, "The president said he'll talk with anyone if we can have a constructive conversation".

Thousands of people packed the streets in the south-western city of Ahvaz on Monday to mourn the victims of the attack.

The deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards accused Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States of masterminding the attack and promised they would face repercussions.

This year's parades had special significance as tensions with the United States have peaked since the USA withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in May and began to re-impose unilateral economic sanctions on Tehran.

'We listened to Iran's reading of the situation and we offered our condolences for the attack, ' the ministry is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS.

It answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.

Mahmoud Falaki, a teacher attending the funerals, said the ceremony showed Iranians "are always ready to sacrifice ourselves for our country".

Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned Western diplomats, accusing them of allegedly providing havens for the Arab separatists behind the attacks.

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