Iran to severely punish Ahvaz attack terrorists: Leader

Iran to severely punish Ahvaz attack terrorists: Leader

Iran to severely punish Ahvaz attack terrorists: Leader

Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Monday for the funerals of those killed in the weekend's attack on a military parade amid conflicting claims over who was responsible for the shooting.

The dead from Saturday's attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, blamed on Arab separatists, ranged from a disabled war hero to a four-year-old boy.

Gunmen sprayed a crowd with bullets in the city of Ahvaz, killing at least 25 people, including children during the parade.

Four assailants were reported to have been involved in the Ahvaz assault and all were killed as Iranian troops returned fire during the attack and in the subsequent pursuit.

Iran's government declared Monday as a nationwide public mourning day, state-run ISNA news agency reported Sunday.

Speaking before a funeral for one of the victims on Monday, the Revolutionary Guards' deputy head Hossein Salami warned the US and Israel in a speech broadcast on state television.

'It is not acceptable that the European Union does not blacklist members of these terrorist groups as long as they do not perpetrate a crime on the European soil, ' Qasemi is quoted as saying by Iranian state news agency INRA.

"We will punish every single one of the terrorists for their actions", he vowed.

By accusing US-allied country in the Gulf of being behind the attack, Rouhani could have been referring to Saudi Arabia, the UAE or Bahrain - close USA military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for Middle East militant groups.

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He wrote on Twitter: "Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz".

A spokesman for the al-Ahwaz National Resistance, an umbrella movement for Arab separatist groups fighting for independence for Khuzestan province, has said it carried out the attack. But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly. "It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes", Rouhani said before leaving for the UN General Assembly in NY.

In New York, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday that United States sanctions were inflicting economic pain on Iran that could lead to a "successful revolution".

Accusations against Gulf countries will nearly certainly antagonise Iran's regional foe Saudi Arabia.

Responding to Rohani's accusations, the USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the BBC that Iran should "look in the mirror" for the causes of the attack, saying that Iran had "oppressed its people for a long time".

The regional superpowers support opposing sides in the civil wars in Yemen and Syria, as well as rival political groups in Iraq and Lebanon.

"All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America".

Asked if Trump would like to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, Pompeo replied: "The president has said he'll talk with anyone if we can have a constructive conversation".

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