Iran: Security Forces Say Attackers Were Iranian Nationals

Published June 9th, 2017 - 05:00 GMT
The attacks have been claimed by Islamic State but Iranian hardliners believe that Saudi Arabia was behind the attacks. (AFP)
The attacks have been claimed by Islamic State but Iranian hardliners believe that Saudi Arabia was behind the attacks. (AFP)

The six attackers who struck two targets in the Iranian capital Tehran were Iranian nationals, the country's security forces confirmed on Thursday, adding that they had arrested a female suspect for questioning.

Twelve people were killed and around 40 others injured in separate attacks at the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.

The attacks have been claimed by Islamic State but Iranian hardliners believe that Saudi Arabia was behind the attacks, Omid Nouripour, the foreign affairs spokesman for the German Green Party, told German broadcaster RBB.

Nouripour added that this belief "will certainly lead to a further escalation" in tensions in the Middle East.

A stand-off with four gunmen who had shot their way into the parliament building in the heart of Tehran and took hostages ended after several hours with all the attackers dead.

Meanwhile eyewitnesses at the mausoleum on Tehran's southern outskirts said that two attackers wearing Balochi-style clothing and carrying Kalashnikov rifles entered the building, apparently wanting to blow themselves up at Khomeini's grave.

After being engaged by the Revolutionary Guard, one attacker was shot in the head while the other was hit in the body, which caused the bomb he was carrying to explode, resulting in further deaths, according to witnesses.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back early Thursday at a White House statement reacting to the shooting.

The US statement said on Wednesday that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote."

Zarif responded: "Repugnant WH statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by US clients. Iranian people reject such US claims of friendship."

It is thought that the attackers may come from Sistan and Balochistan Province in south-east Iran, near the Afghan and Pakistani borders, where members of the Sunni militant group Jundullah are fighting the Revolutionary Guard.


© 2022 dpa GmbH

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