US re­sponse to ter­ror in Tehran ‘re­pug­nant’ – Iran

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

IRAN’S for­eign min­is­ter yes­ter­day called the White House state­ment about the dou­ble at­tack on Tehran that killed 17 peo­ple “re­pug­nant” af­ter it linked the as­sault to what it called Iran’s sup­port for ter­ror.

Iran’s In­tel­li­gence Min­istry also is­sued a state­ment iden­ti­fy­ing five of the at­tack­ers as Ira­ni­ans who had left the coun­try to join the Is­lamic State in Iraq and Syria and pub­lished pho­tos of their bod­ies.

Javad Zarif, who is on a visit to Turkey, also crit­i­cised a vote by the US Se­nate soon af­ter the at­tack to ex­tend sanc­tions on Iran in a tweet.

“Ira­nian peo­ple re­ject such US claims of friend­ship,” he said, hint­ing in the tweet that the ter­ror at­tacks were “backed by US clients”.

The US state­ment, which ex­pressed grief for the vic­tims, con­cluded with the phrase “states that spon­sor ter­ror­ism risk fall­ing vic­tim to the evil they pro­mote”. Other coun­tries such as Rus­sia, Bri­tain and France just ex­pressed con­do­lences for the at­tack.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has taken a much harder line to­wards Iran than its pre­de­ces­sor, de­scrib­ing it as the top state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism in the world and back­ing the view of al­lies Is­rael and Saudi Ara­bia that Iran is the chief threat to sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

The at­tacks on Iran’s par­lia­ment and the ven­er­ated shrine of the Is­lamic Repub­lic’s founder shocked the coun­try and were claimed by the Is­lamic State – an avowed en­emy of both Iran and the US. Both coun­tries are fight­ing Isis in neigh­bour­ing Iraq and Syria.

Ira­ni­ans awoke yes­ter­day to find in­creased se­cu­rity on the streets of the cap­i­tal and an an­nounce­ment that the death toll from the at­tack had risen by five to 17, ac­cord­ing to the coroner’s of­fice.

Emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices said 52 had been in­jured, with 31 peo­ple still in hos­pi­tal.

Po­lice chief Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Hos­sein Ashtari said yes­ter­day that one of the at­tack­ers was in cus­tody and be­ing in­ter­ro­gated.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­te­rior Min­istry, on Wed­nes­day four peo­ple at­tacked the par­lia­ment build­ing with au­to­matic weapons, with one det­o­nat­ing an ex­plo­sive vest and the oth­ers even­tu­ally be­ing gunned down by se­cu­rity.

The men en­tered the build­ing dis­guised as women, who in Iran of­ten wear bil­low­ing robes that would have al­lowed them to con­ceal weapons. A two-per­son team, in­clud­ing a woman, launched a near si­mul­ta­ne­ous at­tack against Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini’s enor­mous tomb com­plex in the south of the city.

The woman blew her­self up with an ex­plo­sive vest, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry state­ment.

Both sites are revered sym­bols for Iran. Wash­ing­ton Post

PIC­TURE: AP

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei, ad­dresses a group of stu­dents in Tehran. Khamenei said the na­tion would ‘go for­ward’ de­spite the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Tehran in which 17 peo­ple were killed on Wed­nes­day.

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