Thousands attend funeral for Iran attack dead

All four attackers were killed.

President Hassan Rohani and other Iranian leaders blamed the Arab separatist group for the "terrorist" attack and accused the United States, Israel, and Gulf Arab monarchies of backing it.

A bipartisan US group, the National Coalition To Prevent An Iranian Nuclear Weapon, released a statement this week signed by more than 50 prominent foreign policy figures claiming the Trump administration's approach to Iran has created a situation in which the regime is left with only "capitulation or war".

"This cowardly act was the work of those very individuals who are rescued by the Americans whenever they are in trouble and who are funded by the Saudis and the (United) Arab Emirates", Khamenei's official Twitter account quoted him as saying.

Isil's official news agency, Amaq, released a video purporting to show three of the four gunmen shortly before the attack.

Soon after the attack, the U.S. State Department issued a statement of sympathy to Iran, calling out what spokesperson Heather Nauert called "the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism".

Brig-Gen Hossein Salami said in a speech to mourners at Monday's funeral: "You have seen our revenge before. we promise that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done". The death toll is expected rise, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, which reported that some of the wounded victims were listed in critical condition.

"We stand with the Iranian people against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism and express our sympathy to them at this bad time", said Heather Nauert, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman.


A general view of the attack during the military parade in Ahvaz, Iran September 22, 2018.

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 U.S. military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for Middle East militant groups. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps spokesman told the outlet, "The attack by some elements of al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia, aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the parade by the Iranian armed forces".

Mourners flooded the streets of Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, on Monday, waving Iranian flags and holding photographs of the victims aloft.

Rouhani engineered Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with President Donald Trump's decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

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". But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.

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

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards vowed to exact "deadly and unforgettable" vengeance for the attack.


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