Iran's blames US-backed Gulf Arab states for attack on military parade

Iran vows'crushing response after gunmen kill 29 at army parade

At least 24 people, including 12 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel were killed and 53 injured after unidentified gunmen targeted a military parade in southwestern Iran's Ahvaz city on Saturday, state media said.

Islamic State's Amaq agency has posted a video of three men in a vehicle who it said were on their way to carry out an attack on an Iranian military parade.

The president of Iran has labelled the United States a "bully" after an attack on a military parade where at least 29 people were killed.

An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition group called the Ahvaz National Resistance, which seeks a separate state in Khuzestan province, claimed responsibility for the attack without providing any evidence.

In this photo provided by the Iranian Students' News Agency, ISNA, wounded military personnel are carried into an ambulance after a shooting during a military parade marking the 38th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran, in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, Iran, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. Washington seeks to "create chaos and turmoil" in Iran so that the USA can "take charge" of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, before leaving for NY to attend a UN General Assembly meeting.

"Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, rejected Rouhani's accusations as rhetoric".

Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding Arab separatists' activity.

The gunmen were trained by two Gulf Arab states and had ties to the United States and Israel, according to Shekarchi.

The IS jihadist group claimed responsibility for the rare assault.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency says 20 people have been wounded in an attack on military parade in Ahvaz.

For years, Iran has held up the elite force, which answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as an impenetrable bulwark against external threats.

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Hours after the attack, Iranian officials have increasingly said they suspect Ahvazi separatists for the attack.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) have been the sword and shield of Shi'ite clerical rule since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"The overriding concern right now is the economic crisis and the impact of US sanctions, linked to Iran's regional contest with Riyadh and conflicts such as Syria, Yemen, and Iraq", he adds. Tehran claims the group is backed by its arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said those who have provided "propaganda and intelligence support" for the terrorists are accountable for the attack.

The UAE and Bahrain are closely allied with Saudi Arabia.

Parsi also criticized many in the corporate media for calling the incident a "military parade attack" instead of a terror attack that killed numerous civilians.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia on Mr Rouhani's allegations. Moreover, these monarchies are no longer limiting themselves to pushing the United States to take military action, but are announcing their own readiness to attack Iran.

However, under the Trump administration, these relations have deteriorated further as the American leader pulled the United States out of a nuclear agreement that had been agreed to with Iran and other nations under his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and moved to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

Speaking to MEE, Rasool Hosseini, a reformist foreign policy analyst, said: "I think today's attack is in line with the United States and its regional allies' strategy to pressure Iran".

Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi was quoted by IRNA as saying the terrorists were "not from Da'esh (ISIS) or other groups fighting (Iran's) Islamic system ... but are linked to America and the [Israeli worldwide intelligence agency] Mossad".

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