Iran's elite Guards vow to avenge deadly attack

by Garry Watts September 25, 2018, 0:30
Iran's elite Guards vow to avenge deadly attack

The shooting attack on the military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz was one of the worst ever against the Guards - Iran's most powerful military force - and is bound to ratchet up tensions with Saudi Arabia.

The victims of the assault included civilians and members of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

State TV reported late Monday that authorities have detained 22 suspects linked to the group behind the attack and confiscated ammunition and communication equipment.

Top Iranian leaders also blamed the United State's Gulf Arab allies for the bloodshed that struck a blow at the heart of its security establishment.

Iran has declared today a national day of mourning.

But Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Iran should "look in the mirror" for the causes of the attack and that Rouhani had "oppressed his people for a long time".

General Hossein Salami, acting head of the Revolutionary Guard, said at a mass funeral in Ahvaz: "You have seen our revenge before".

Explaining why Iranian athletes do not take part in any match with the representatives of the Zionist regime of Israel, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic did not recognize the Zionist regime and the [former] racist regime of South Africa".

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When asked whether that meant Trump would be willing to sit down with Iran's ayatollah, Pompeo replied, "The president said he'll talk with anyone if we can have a constructive conversation".

Speaking at the funeral of victims of the Saturday terrorist attack in Ahvaz, General Salami promised the Iranian nation that perpetrators and sponsors of the terror attack will receive such a "devastating" response that would make them regret it.

Rouhani's remarks could refer to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain - close USA military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for militant groups across the Middle East.

'We listened to Iran's reading of the situation and we offered our condolences for the attack, ' the ministry is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS.

General Hossein Salami, acting commander of the Revolutionary Guard vowed revenge on the perpetrators of the attack and what he called the "triangle" - or Saudi Arabia, Israel and the USA - saying operatives would be harshly punished.

A spokesman for the al-Ahwaz National Resistance, an umbrella movement for Arab separatist groups fighting for independence for Khuzestan province, has said it carried out the attack. "It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes", Rouhani said before leaving for the UN General Assembly in NY.

In response to the attack, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told Fox News, "The United States condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives". But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly. The oil super-powers are waging a war for influence across the Middle East, backing opposite sides in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi announced on Monday that the most of those persons behind the Saturday terrorist attack in Ahvaz have been arrested.

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