Iran's Khamenei says the attackers were paid by Saudis and UAE

Marsha Scott
September 25, 2018

Officials and an eyewitness said the four gunmen who carried out the attack were clad in Iranian military uniforms and had sprayed the crowd with gunfire using weapons they had stashed in a nearby park. One of them speaks in Farsi, while the other two speak about jihad in Arabic. He went on: "We will destroy them with a strong and guerrilla-style attack, inshallah (God willing)".

A senior spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said four terrorists were involved in the attack, noting that they had hidden their rifles in the parade venue beforehand.

Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated accusations against the United States and other countries that have tense ties with Tehran, and said that Iran would "severely punish" those behind the attack. In a statement on Sunday, the paramilitary organization said it knows where the attack came from, and threatened the masterminds "will face a deadly and unforgettable vengeance in the near future".

President Donald Trump himself often offers quick responses on Twitter to suspected terrorist attacks, especially those that appear to have been perpetrated by the Islamic State extremist group.

Responding to Rohani's accusations, the USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the BBC that Iran should "look in the mirror" for the causes of the attack, saying that Iran had "oppressed its people for a long time".

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.

Responding to Rouhani's remarks, Haley told CNN: "He's got the Iranian people protesting, every ounce of money that goes into Iran goes into his military, he has oppressed his people for a long time and he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from".

Speakers included the wartime commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Lieutenant General Mohsen Rezai, deputy IRGC chief Brigadier General Hossein Salami and Intelligence Minister Mahmood Alavi. But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.

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"We will identify all terrorists linked to this attack".

They are also likely to enforce a tight security policy in Khuzestan province, arresting any perceived domestic opponents including civil rights activists.

Rohani and U.S. President Donald Trump are both attending the UN General Assembly in NY this week.

IS has also claimed the shooting and published a video purportedly showing three of the gunmen being driven to the military parade in a auto.

The attack comes as Iran's economy reels in the wake of the U.S.re-imposing sanctions lifted by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

On June 7, 2017 in Tehran, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks on the parliament and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - the first inside Iran claimed by IS.

Accusations against Gulf countries will nearly certainly antagonise Iran's regional foe Saudi Arabia.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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