Islamic State group claims Iran parade attack: propaganda agency

Hugh Fox
September 22, 2018

Nine of those killed are reported to be members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corp, the semi-official ISNA news agency said.

The Qods (Jerusalem) force, led by Major-General Qassem Soleimani, is the branch of the Revolutionary Guards which operates outside of Iran's borders.

Meanwhile, Guard spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif told ISNA that an Arab separatist group carried out the attack, without elaborating. Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding their activity.

The Guards used the missiles to attack militants in Syria past year and also targeted an Iranian Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq with a missile strike in early September.

At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the 2017 operation in gunmen carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives stormed the parliament complex where a legislative session had been in progress, starting an hours-long siege.

"12 people were martyred and over 30 others were wounded during the terrorist attack on the Armed Forces' parades in Ahwaz south Iran", Deputy Governor-General of Khouzestan province Hosseinzadeh told FNA on Saturday.

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Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter also warned that "Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives" after the attack in Ahvaz.

The statement was posted on Amaq accounts on on messaging application Telegram.

The province saw unrest in 2005 and 2011 but has since seen been largely quiet.

An Iranian military spokesman said the attackers were not from Daesh, but "were trained and organized by two Persian Gulf countries", and had ties to the US and Israel.

In April, 26 alleged IS jihadists went on trial on charges connected with that twin attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday denounced the attack on an army parade in Iran, offering condolences to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and calling for deeper anti-terror cooperation.

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It coincided with remarks by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, who said that U.S. president Donald Trump will fail in his confrontation with Iran, and vowed Tehran will not abandon its missiles.

"We will never decrease our defensive capabilities. we will increase them day by day", Rouhani said at a military parade. "The fact that they are angry at our missiles shows that these are the most influential weapons Iran has".

The IRGC oversees Iran's ballistic missile program, which includes missiles like the Shahab-3 with a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), analysts say.

According to the Press TV channel, unknown gunmen opened fire on the crowd from behind the stand.

Trump and Rouhani will both be in NY next week for the United Nations General Assembly.

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