IS team in Iran says next to target Saudi Arabia

Evrard Martin
Juin 20, 2017

Wednesday's killings in Tehran by Iranian members of Islamic State drew a shocked response similar to that in Western countries when they too have been attacked by locally-born jihadists.

And with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the IRGC blaming Saudi Arabia for the attacks, tensions are only likely to deepen between the two arch rivals competing for influence in an already chaotic region.

On Thursday, Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavai, said the country was investigating whether Saudi Arabia had a role Wednesday's attacks.

The Intelligence Ministry also confirmed that five of the men involved in the attacks had previously fought for the Islamic State group.

"We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times".

These operations took place after the National Security Ministry on Thursday published the identity of five of the suspects responsible for the Tehran attack.

Last Wednesday's rare and coordinated attacks on Tehran left dozens of people wounded.

Since Monday, Qatar has faced a Saudi-led blockade and denied funding terrorists - a charge leveled again on Friday by US President Donald Trump. Iranian forces are backing embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad while the Shiite power also is supporting militias fighting against the extremists in Iraq. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad-Zarif called it "repugnant" on Twitter and said the Iranian people "reject" the statement.

The country's Supreme Leader said the attacks will add to the hatred that Iranians harbor toward the USA and Saudi Arabia.

The suspected orchestrator of the attack, who has not been named, was tracked down by Iranian intelligence after he had fled the country amid the ongoing crackdown by government forces. The twin assault claimed 17 lives when four armed assailants raided the country's Parliament while a suicide bomber struck at the Imam Khomeini Mausoleum.

The speaker claims to represent the "first battalion" of IS formed inside of Iran. Many Iranian lawmakers agree, highlighted by their reaction to the Parliament attack.

Iran's state broadcaster said a security guard was killed at the tomb and that one of the attackers was slain by security guards.

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