Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Iran Lashes Out at Saudis and U.S. as Gulf Tensions Rise - nytimes

Assailants with assault rifles, grenades and women’s disguises stunned Iran on Wednesday with audacious attacks on the Parliament building and tomb of its revolutionary founder, leaving at least 12 people dead and 42 wounded in the worst terrorist strike against the Islamic republic in years. The attackers were killed.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps lashed out at Saudi Arabia and the United States, blaming them for the assault even as responsibility for it was asserted by the Islamic State, the Sunni extremist group that has taken credit for a nonstop staccato of terrorist attacks around the world in the last few weeks.

If the Islamic State’s claim is true, that would be its first successful attack in Iran, which is predominantly Shiite Muslim and regarded by Sunni militants as a nation of heretics. Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria are helping battle the Islamic State.

Tensions in the Middle East were already high; after a visit by President Trump, Saudi Arabia and several Sunni allies led a regional effort on Monday to isolate Qatar, the one Persian Gulf country that maintains relations with Iran.

In a statement, the Revolutionary Guards Corps faulted both Saudi Arabia and the United States government: “The public opinion of the world, especially Iran, recognizes this terrorist attack — which took place a week after a joint meeting of the U.S. president and the head of one of the region’s backward governments, which constantly supports fundamentalist terrorists — as very significant,” clearly referring to Saudi Arabia. The statement also acknowledged the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility.

“The United States condemns the terrorist attacks in Tehran today,” the State Department said. “We express our condolences to the victims and their families, and send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Iran. The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world.- Read More

Iran Lashes Out at Saudis and U.S. as Gulf Tensions Rise


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