Iran warns U.S., Israel of revenge after parade attack


Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards has vowed to exact "deadly and unforgettable" vengeance for an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, including 12 of their comrades, as Tehran accused Gulf Arab states of backing the gunmen.

The country's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said "regional terror sponsors" were responsible for the attack, adding he held "their U.S. masters accountable".

Iranian armed forces members and civilians take shelter.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also accused other countries of the attack, right before leaving for the United Nations Meeting on Sunday.

He added: "The small puppet countries in the region are backed by America, and the USA is provoking them and giving them the necessary capabilities".

A spokesman for an Arab separatist group in Iran says members of his organization carried out an attack on an Iranian military parade that killed 25 people and wounded 53. Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen condemned the attack and stressed that there would be "consequences" if it turns out that those responsible have connections to Denmark. The UAE did not immediately acknowledge the summons.

The assault, which wounded at least 70 people, targeted a viewing stand where Iranian officials had gathered in the city of Ahvaz to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic's 1980-88 war with Iraq, state television said. Women and children fled for their lives.

London-based opposition channel Iran International TV aired an interview Saturday with Yaqoub Hor Altostari, presented as a spokesman for ADPF, indirectly claiming responsibility for the attack and calling it "resistance against legitimate targets". But Iranian authorities see an Arab separatist movement, the Ahwazi Democratic Popular Front (ADPF) or Al Ahwazi, as the main suspect. But unlike previous terror attacks, this one may spark a much larger regional conflagration - involving not just regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also the United States.

This picture, taken on September 22, 2018 in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz by ISNA, shows Iranian women and soldiers taking cover next to bushes at the scene of a terrorist attack on a military parade. The Guard responded to the attack on Sunday, warning it would seek "deadly and unforgiving revenge in the near future".

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President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Saturday said that USA sanctions on Iran are leading to economic pain that could lead to a "successful revolution", contrasting with administration comments that government change in Tehran is not US policy. His statement was widely interpreted as a sign that Riyadh would dramatically escalate tensions with Iran and intensify its support for various armed groups opposing the government in Tehran.

"We will identify all terrorists linked to this attack".

Two separate groups have claimed they carried out the shooting, but neither has provided evidence.

Now the influential Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says it knows who organized the attack, while adding they are willing to pursue the attackers "regionally and beyond". The militants have made a string of false claims in the wake of major defeats in Iraq and Syria. Two of the men spoke in Arabic about jihad, while the third spoke in Farsi suggesting they were targeting Iranian Revolutionary Guards, according to the recording. The video included no time stamps, nor any specific references to the Ahvaz attack.

Why does Iran blame its Gulf neighbours for the attack?

Shia Iran is at odds with Western-allied Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia for predominance in the Middle East.

"Iran will neither abandon its defensive weapons nor will reduce its defense capabilities", Rouhani said.

The three men are dressed in IRGC uniforms.