Iranian officials blame USA and Israel for deadly ambush on military parade

Revolutionary Guard members carry a wounded colleague after a shooting during their parade marking the 38th anniversary

Revolutionary Guard members carry a wounded colleague after a shooting during their parade marking the 38th anniversary

Kayhan, linked Al- Ahvaziah, the separatist group that has claimed responsibility for the attack to several countries including Saudi Arabia and Israel, alleging that the group's members have recently visited Tel Aviv and Riyadh as well as several European countries.

A second video capturing the aftermath of the attack showed a chaotic scene of people fleeing and paramedics trying to help the injured.

It was the deadliest such attack in Iran in almost a decade.

He blamed Saudi Arabia for fueling the movement.

Four militants carried out the attack and two of them were killed, according to ISNA.

The bloodshed struck a blow to security in OPEC oil producer Iran, which has been relatively stable compared with neighbouring Arab countries that have grappled with upheaval since the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East.

A Revolutionary Guard member carries a wounded boy after the attack by unknown militants
BEHRAD GHASEMIL ISNA AP A Revolutionary Guard member carries a wounded boy after the attack by unknown militants

"Why should their military and security officials anywhere in the world and in any disguise be immune to the fire of revenge when they do not recognize attacks on military personnel, women and children as terrorist operations?" the Kayhan asked, adding "they should fear even their own shadows as Islamic Iran's selfless supporters are present everywhere".

Iran's Revolutionary Guard is a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed a "crushing" response, saying on his official website that "those who give intelligence and propaganda support to these terrorists must answer for it".

"The United States stands with the Iranian people and encourages the regime in Tehran to focus on keeping them safe at home", Marquis said in an emailed statement. The semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to the Guard, meanwhile said two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms carried out the attack.

Women and children are among the dead, as people gathered to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq.

The attack dominated Iranian newspaper front pages on Sunday.

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Earlier reports described the attackers as "Takfiri gunmen", a term used in the past to describe the extremist Islamic State group.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on twitter that Iran would respond "swiftly and decisively" to the attack, which he blamed on "regional terror sponsors and their USA masters".

Khuzestan was a major battleground of the 1980s war with Iraq and the attack on the anniversary parade in Ahvaz had significant symbolic value.

Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding Arab separatists.

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London-based opposition channel Iran International TV on Saturday aired an interview with Yaqoub Hor Altostari, presented as a spokesman for ADPF, indirectly claiming responsibility for the attack and calling it "resistance against legitimate targets".

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It coincided with remarks by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, who said that U.S. president Donald Trump will fail in his confrontation with Iran, and vowed Tehran will not abandon its missiles.

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

Iran will be scrambling to determine the motives for the Saturday's high-profile attack as it faces growing US pressure.

- December 15, 2010: Jundallah claims a suicide attack against Shiites celebrating Ashura in Chabahar in southeastern Iran.

Saturday's attack comes after a co-ordinated June 7, 2017 Islamic State group assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran.

Tehran also summoned diplomats from Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain for allegedly hosting members of the group suspected of links to Saturday's attack that killed at least 29 people.

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