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TEHRAN, Sept 24, 2018 (MENA) - Iran's intelligence minister said on Monday that a "large" network of suspects has been arrested in connection with Saturday’s attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people, Farda Radio reported.

"We will identify all terrorists linked to this attack ... A large part of this network has already been arrested," Mahmoud Alavi was quoted as saying by the Iranian media, on the sidelines of the funeral of the victims in Ahvaz. He was part of a government delegation taking part in the funeral.

The minister did not provide any details about the identity of those arrested or their affiliation, but vowed tough measures against those committing "such crimes".


LONDON, September 24, 2018 (Reuters) - The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned US and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a “devastating” response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.

“You have seen our revenge before ... You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done,” Hossein Salami said in a speech before the funeral of the victims broadcast live on the state television.

Thousands of people packed the streets of the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz to mourn the victims of Saturday’s assault that killed 25 people, including 12 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

Many chanted “death to Israel and America”.

The coffins, wrapped in the flag of the Islamic Republic, were carried by the mourners. Many held pictures of a four year old boy killed in the attack, one of the worst against the most powerful military force of the Islamic Republic.

Four assailants fired on a viewing stand in Ahvaz where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.

Soldiers crawled on the street to avoid bullets. Women and children fled for their lives.

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.

The United Arab Emirates, a close ally of Saudi Arabia and Washington, rejected Iranian allegations alluding to its involvement in the violence.

Speaking at the funeral ceremony, Defence Minister Amir Hatami warned the “terrorists” to expect the revenge of the Iranian nation.

The intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, said a large network of suspects had already been arrested in connection with the attack, the judiciary’s news agency Mizan reported.. He did not elaborate.

Islamic State’s Amaq agency posted a video of three men in a vehicle who it said were on their way to carry out the attack.

A man wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with what appears to be a Revolutionary Guard logo discussed the impending attack in Farsi in the video.

“We are Muslims, they are kafirs (non-believers),” the man says. He adds: “We will destroy them with a strong and guerrilla-style attack, inshallah (God willing).”

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was set up after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shi’ite clerical ruling system and revolutionary values.

It answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The IRGC has an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy and air units.

The violence has led to a boost in support for the Guards, according to analysts, which they will likely use to silence their critics, who include pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani.

He engineered Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with President Donald Trump’s decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, also claimed responsibility.

Senior commanders of the IRGC have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America.

But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.

The Guards could put on a show of strength by firing missiles at opposition groups operating in Iraq or Syria that may be linked to the militants who staged the attack.

Iran’s Ground Force General Nozar Nemati was quoted as saying by Mizan news agency that “the agents behind this attack are identified and will be published at the appropriate time.”

DUBAI, September 23, 2018 (News Wires) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States of being a "bully" that wants to create insecurity in the Islamic Republic, a day after an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, including 12 members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards.

Speaking before leaving Tehran to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, Rouhani accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of providing financial and military support for anti-government ethnic Arab groups.

The attack was one of the worst ever against the Guards - the most powerful military force in the country - and is bound to ratchet up tensions with Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia.

"Iran's answer (to this attack) is forthcoming within the framework of law and our national interests," said Rouhani, adding that the United States will regret its "aggressiveness".

An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance, which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, claimed responsibility for the attack.

"The Persian Gulf states are providing monetary, military and political support for these groups," said Rouhani.

Islamic State militants also claimed responsibility. Neither claim provided evidence. All four attackers were killed.

The assault, which wounded at least 70 people, targeted a viewing stand where Iranian officials had gathered in the city of Ahvaz to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic's 1980-88 war with Iraq, state television said.

"Hopefully we will overcome these sanctions with the least possible costs and make America regret its aggressiveness towards other countries, and particularly Iran," said Rouhani.

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

Hardliners such as the Republican Guards have gained standing at the expense of pragmatists in Iran's multi-tiered leadership since President Donald Trump decided in May to pull the United States out of the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran and re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

BAGHDAD, Sept 22, 2018 (MENA) - Iran has closed down two border crossings with Iraq following the armed attack that targeted a military ceremony in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz, an Iraqi well-informed source said on Saturday.

The source told Alsumaria News channel that the Iranian side closed down al-Shaib and Shalamcheh border gates to passengers and trade movement temporarily.

Iran has taken tightened security measures after today's attack that targeted a military parade in Ahvaz, leaving 11 elements of the Revolutionary Guards dead.



TEHRAN, Sept 22, 2018 (MENA) - The number of the people who were killed in the terrorist incident in Iran's southern city of Ahvaz on Saturday morning has reached 24, IRNA news agency reported.

More than 53 people were wounded in the incident and were taken to various hospitals in Ahvaz, according to an Iranian source.

Earlier in the day, the Iranian state television reported that several armed militants attacked a military ceremony in Ahvaz, leaving 30 people injured.

TEHRAN, Sept 22, 2018 (MENA) - Several armed militants on Saturday morning attacked a military ceremony in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz, the provincial capital city of Khuzestan, the Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported.

A provincial official said that 10 people, including one journalist were killed in the attack.

The official added that the number of the killings is likely to increase because some of the wounded victims are in critical condition.

The militants fired at the people participating in the military ceremony.

The security forces managed to kill two terrorists and arrest the two remaining militants.




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