Iran capital the target of major terrorist attack
Iranian intelligence officials have broken up one of the “biggest terrorist” plots ever planned to target Tehran and other provinces, the country’s state media reported yesterday.
The reports quote the country’s Intelligence Ministry as saying that it has arrested several suspects in the plot to bomb the capital and other provinces, seizing bombs and ammunition during the operation.
The Intelligence Ministry statement, read live on Iranian state television and carried across the country’s news agencies, had little detail. The announcement comes as Iran finds itself battling ISIS while also supporting Syria’s embattled President Bashar Al Assad in his country’s long, bloody civil war.
Several suspects have been arrested and are under interrogation over the plot after agents seized ammunition and bombs, state media said.
The semi-official Fars and ISNA news agencies quoted Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying the attack was timed to hit during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, citing the Intelligence Ministry, said the attack was supposed to come on the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, which was commemorated on Thursday.
The report didn’t identify those arrested, though it called them “takfiris”, a derogatory term in both Arabic and Farsi referring to Muslims who accuse others of being “nonbelievers”.
Iranian authorities often refer to followers of the Sunni militant ISIS as “takfiris”, though it isn’t clear if this case involved the extremist group that holds territory in Iraq and Syria.
Iran has been helping both the Syrian and the Iraqi government in their battles against the Islamic State group.
In May, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi announced that 20 “terrorist groups” that planned to detonate bombs and cause insecurity across the country had been dismantled.
Iran faces threats from several militant groups. Last week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard battled armed members of an insurgent Kurdish group in the country’s West Azerbaijan province near its border with Iraq and Turkey.