<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> WorldTribune.com: Mobile Iran now says mosque explosion was a bomb, not a gas leak

Iran now says mosque explosion was a bomb, not a gas leak

Friday, May 16, 2008 Free Headline Alerts

NICOSIA Iran has changed its story, acknowledging that an explosion that killed 12 people in a mosque was an insurgency bombing.

The Iranian Justice Ministry said Britain, Israel and the United States facilitated the bombing of a Shiraz cultural center on April 12. The ministry said Teheran would appeal to the International Court of Justice to prosecute these countries.

For more than a month, Iran denied that the explosion in Shiraz comprised an attack. Instead, Teheran said the explosion in the mosque complex stemmed from a gas leak.

Justice Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said 12 people have been arrested and deemed as key suspects in the bombing. Later, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the detainees confessed that they were directed by Britain and the United States.

"Due to sincere and timely efforts of Iranian security personnel, those involved in Shiraz bombing were immediately arrested and confessed to their link with the Zionist regime, United States and Britain," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the official Iranian news agency, Irna.

Officials said Iranian prosecutor-general Qorban Ali Dorri Najaf Abadi was directed to investigate the bombing. They said Abadi would conduct his probe outside Iran as well.

"Iran is to bring to justice those masterminding the plot through legal channels," Ahmadinejad said.

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