Khamenei blames US allies for attack on military parade in Ahvaz
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran on the United States and its “allies in the region.”
“This crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States, and their goal is to create insecurity in our dear country,” Khamenei said in a statement posted on his official website.
Although he did not explicitly name the countries, the US has good relations with Israel and other Arab Gulf states in the region who are opposed to Iran, including Saudi Arabia.
The Iranian Supreme Leader also echoed calls by Iran President Hassan Rouhani who urged security forces in the country to identify those responsible for the attack on the military parade.
On Saturday morning, unknown gunmen opened fire during a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, killing and injuring over 70 people.
According to state-run media, the attack killed 24 people, including 12 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and wounded 53 others.
Although it is unclear who was behind the armed attack, the Islamic State claimed responsibility, according to the extremist group’s Amaq news agency. There was no evidence provided for their claim, though.
Ahvaz is the capital of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province, which has seen multiple attacks on oil pipelines by Arab separatists in the past.
Arabs are one of several major non-Persian ethnic groups in Iran that also include Kurds, Turks, and Baluch.
In response to the attack, Iran closed two border crossings with neighboring Iraq, Iraqi border crossing officials told Kurdistan 24.