Struggling with its own terrorism crisis, Iran lashes out at Saudis, Trump

by WorldTribune Staff, June 8, 2017

The attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) that killed 17 people in Teheran on June 7 were “backed by U.S. clients,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, pointing the finger squarely at Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) vowed revenge for the attacks at parliament and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum.

Members of Iranian security forces respond to an attack at parliament in Teheran on June 7. / Tasnim via Reuters

In a statement, the IRCG called it “meaningful” that the attacks followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh “constantly supports” terrorists, the statement said, adding that the ISIS claim of responsibility “shows they (Saudis) are involved in this savage action.”

Riyadh and Washington both condemned the attacks, which came soon after Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-ruled countries cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support for Islamist militants and closer ties with Iran.

In a statement, Trump expressed sympathy for the victims of the Teheran attacks but also implied that Iran is itself a sponsor of terrorism, saying, “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

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

The June 8 attacks in Teheran were the first for which ISIS has claimed responsibility in Iran.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said in a statement that five men involved in the attacks were Iranians who joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The ministry described the men as “long affiliated with the Wahhabi” – a reference to a conservative form of Sunni Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia.

All the attackers were reported killed. At least two of them blew themselves up with suicide vests, Iranian media reported.

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