Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Iran criticises the Netherlands for 'sheltering terrorists' after parade attack

Iran criticises the Netherlands for 'sheltering terrorists' after parade attack

In a collective outpouring of grief, Iranians held funerals Monday for the victims of the weekend terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people, the deadliest attack in the country in almost a decade. "We are Muslims, they are kafirs (non-believers)", the man says.

During the military parade in Ahvaz on Saturday morning, Takfiri militants opened fired on military officials and ordinary people in the event.

The deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards accused Saudi Arabia, Israel and the USA of masterminding the attack and promised they would face repercussions.

The harsh statement came as bodies of those killed in the attack were laid to rest in Iran's southwestern city.

The report is being spread by a "suspicious small group" that claims to be a part of the ASMLA organisation, the website said.

Salami was speaking during a live broadcast ahead of the funerals of some of those killed Saturday when gunmen disguised as soldiers attacked an annual military parade marking the anniversary of the start of its 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. First an Arab Iranian separatist group, Ahvaz National Resistance, claimed responsibility.

In an August 2017 article, Bolton proposed one of the ways the USA could pressure Iran would be through supporting ethnic minorities like Kurds, Balochis and the Arabs of Khuzestan - the wider province Ahvaz is capital of. The separatists, however, previously only conducted pipeline bombings at night or hit-and-run attacks.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the USA and its regional allies were responsible for the attack.

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The separatists accuse Iran's Persian-dominated government of discriminating against its ethnic Arab minority.

Mahmoud Falaki, a teacher attending the funerals, said the ceremony showed Iranians "are always ready to scarify ourselves for our country". The UAE did not immediately acknowledge the summons.

Khamenei's remarks came as several of Iran's generals took tough tones to accuse the USA of being involved in the attack.

But US defence secretary Jim Mattis called Iran's claims of US involvement "ludicrous", and told reporters he was not concerned by the threats.

He engineered Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with President Donald Trump's decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Many had already been arrested in connection with the attack, according to Mizan news agency. "Those who give intelligence and propaganda support to these terrorists must answer for it".

The deputy governor of Khuzestan Province, Ali Hossein Hosseinzadeh, put the latest death toll from the attack at 25, saying 60 others have been injured.

The statements being made by Iran's leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Monday, have all reinforced the idea that regardless of which group carried out the attack, the support came from further overseas.

The high-level military officers also warned that Iran will seek revenge.

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