Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Iran investigating Saudi role in attacks


They had returned to Iran in August 2016 for a terrorist operation under the command of Abu Aysheh, a ranking commander of Daesh, with the objective of carrying out attacks in Iran's religious cities, the statement said.

President Trump had earlier said, "We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people who are going through such challenging times".

Pakistani ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will attend the conference on Monday.

The attacks Wednesday on Iran's parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader killed at least 17 people and wounded over 40, stunning its people.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected Trump's message, calling it repugnant on his Twitter account.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei initially played down the attacks this week, describing them as "firecrackers" that "will not have the slightest effect on the will of the people".

The attackers raided Iran's parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum on Wednesday morning, in a rare strike at the heart of the Islamic Republic.

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Iranian security officials counter that it is their regional rival Saudi Arabia - a close USA ally - that is responsible for funding and spreading the extremism that underpins IS.

Also, the attack comes against a backdrop of regional tension, with Arab Gulf countries pushing for a more forceful isolation of Iran.

In a statement released by the White House, the U.S. leader noted, "We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times".

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) accused Saudi Arabia (which has a Sunni majority) of being involved in the terrorist attack, which Saudi Arabia denied. IS militants are fighting Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, and they view Shiites as apostates. The siege lasted for hours, and one of the attackers blew himself up inside, according to Iran's state TV. Local media reported that one guard was killed, and guards at the shrine killed one of the assailants. A woman was also arrested. The revered shrine was not damaged.

Five of the attackers died and, Reuters reports, more than half a dozen suspects have been arrested in connection with the assault - the first major attack Iran has experienced in years.

Saadat says in the aftermath of the attack, it feels different to be Iranian.

Tehran's stock exchange fell almost 2 percent Thursday after the attacks.

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