Gunmen Launch Deadly Attack on Iranian Parliament, Mausoleum

تم نشره في Wed 7 June / Jun 2017. 12:00 AM
  • A guard was killed on Wednesday when armed men launched an attack on the parliament in central Tehran. - (Reuters)
  • A boy is evacuated during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran, Iran, June 7, 2017. - (Reuters)

LONDON — Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault which Iran’s Revolutionary Guards blamed on regional rival Saudi Arabia.

ISIS claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building.

The attacks took place at a particularly charged time after Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of backing Tehran and militant groups.

They were the first claimed by the hard-line Sunni Muslim militant group inside in the tightly controlled Shiite Muslim country. ISIS has regularly threatened Iran, one of the powers leading the fight against the militants’ forces in neighbouring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria.

The powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the action, a rare such incident in Iran.

This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president, Donald Trump, and Saudi leaders. The fact that ISIS has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack, the Iranian Guards statement said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir, speaking in Berlin, said there is no evidence Saudi extremists were involved.

The attacks could also exacerbate tensions in Iran between newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist, and his rivals among hard-line clerics and the Revolutionary Guards.

At least 12 people were killed by the attackers, the head of Iran’s emergency department, Pir-Hossein Kolivand, was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB. Some 43 people were wounded.

The Intelligence Ministry said security forces had arrested another “terrorist team” planning a third attack.

Television footage showed police helicopters circling over the parliament building, with snipers on its rooftop.