Iran leaders accuse US, Saudis of supporting Tehran attacks

Posted June 12, 2017

Iran said its security forces on Saturday killed the mastermind of a twin attack on Tehran that left 17 people dead this week, as security was tightened around the country to prevent other possible plots.

"Six people who were certainly connected to Wednesday's terrorist attacks in Teheran were identified and arrested", Mr Aliakbar Garousi was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

Tehran police said the auto the attackers used on Wednesday was discovered on Saturday in the city centre.

The ministry released their photographs and first names, and said they were part of a network that entered Iran in July-August 2016 under the leadership of "high-ranking Daesh commander" Abu Aisha intending to carry out "terrorist operations in religious cities". Zarif also appeared to accuse Saudi Arabia of having a hand in the attacks Wednesday.

In a condolence message ahead of a funeral for the victims, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attack: "will not damage the Iranian nation's determination and the obvious result is nothing except an increase in hate for the governments of the United States and their stooges in the region like Saudi (Arabia)", state media reported. Iranians will not be intimidated by such attacks. A statement issued Wednesday evening stopped short of alleging direct Saudi involvement but called it "meaningful" that the attacks followed Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he strongly asserted Washington's support for Riyadh. Iran also has been fiercely opposed to the militant group.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded that such "repugnant" statements are rejected by the Iranian people, adding that "terror-sponsoring despots threaten to bring the fight to our homeland".

Smoke is seen during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran, Iran.

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Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were under attack by IS terrorists earlier this week.

Iranian state TV said the Intelligence Ministry had detained 41 suspects in Tehran and the western Kurdish provinces of the country.

Trump tweeted that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote".

He said anti-Iranian remarks by Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and U.S. President Donald Trump are a "matter of disgrace" for them.

IS released a video overnight of the five attackers before the assault, via its Amaq propaganda agency.

But Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said "we still can not judge that Saudi Arabia has had a role in this terrorist incident".

It was the first time that ISIS, a Sunni Muslim group fighting Iranian-backed militias in Syria, has claimed responsibility for an attack in Iran and the choice of locations were also highly symbolic. The Islamic State group claimed the attacks.

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