Iran Says Saudi Arabia Was Behind Deadly Tehran Attack

From Daily-Mail:
Iranian authorities have arrested five suspects after an ISIS attack which killed 12 and wounded 35 at the country's parliament and a shrine to Ayatollah Kohmeini on Wednesday.

The country's Revolutionary Guards blamed Saudi Arabia for the attack, saying: 'This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. President Donald Trump and the Saudi backward leaders who support terrorists.

'The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they [Saudi Arabia] were involved in the brutal attack.' Saudi Arabia's foreign minister denied the claims and, like the US, condemned the attack.

ISIS earlier said fighters armed with AK47s and pistols stormed parliament through the civilian entrance while disguising themselves as women by wearing burkas, shooting security guards before detonating a suicide bomb, killing at least five and wounding 25.
Meanwhile two more suicide bombers attacked a shrine to Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of modern-day Iran, as another suicide device was detonated, killing at least two and injuring another 10.

The Guards' accusation dramatically escalates already-strained tensions on the Arabian Peninsula, coming after Saudi Arabia led a group of six nations in cutting ties with Qatar, saying the country supported 'Iranian terrorist groups'.

Riyadh also said 'authorities in Doha' have supported the Iran-backed Houthi armed group fighting against Saudi forces in Yemen.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the deadly attacks in Tehran claimed by the Islamic State group were mere 'fire-crackers' that would have no effect on the Iranian people.

'The Iranian nation is moving forward and these fire-crackers that happened today will not have the slightest effect on the will of the people,' Khamenei told students in the capital.

Saudi Arabia is predominantly made up of Sunni Muslims, including its extensive royal family, while Iran is staunchly Shia - making them ideologically opposed.

Iran's accusation also comes the day after Donald Trump praised Saudi Arabia and took partial credit for its moves against Qatar, saying it could be 'the beginning of the end of the horror of terrorism'.

Saudi Arabia's promotion of a fundamentalist sect of Islam called Wahhabism has led to the nation being linked with ISIS in the past, as this is where the group draws much of its extremist teachings from.

Many top ISIS clerics also spent time studying or living in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has also been accused of funding the group and turning a blind eye as citizens funneled money to it, though it has staunchly denied this.

Earlier in the day, anti-terror police in Tehran said they exchanged fire with militants in the northern part of parliament before a bomb detonated on the fourth floor.

Video purporting to be from inside the building showed a fighter armed with an AK47 moving between rooms as a dead body lay on the floor.

Government forces say all four attackers inside parliament have now been shot dead by police.

Security forces said a second attacker at the shrine had been shot dead after the first blew up, while another two people were arrested.

Tourists at the mausoleum were locked inside to keep them safe and later released.

The unusual attacks prompted the interior ministry to call for an urgent security meeting, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Iranian state media said police helicopters were circling over the parliament building and that all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected.

The semi-official ISNA news agency said all entrance and exit gates at parliament were closed and that politicians and reporters had been ordered to stay inside the chamber, where a session had been in progress.

It quoted politician Elias Hazrati as saying the attackers were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

It described the shrine attackers as 'terrorists' and said one carried out a suicide bombing, without providing further details.

State news channels sought to downplay the attacks, saying that parliament had resumed session shortly after the first reports of gunfire.

Other TV channels either stopped reporting on the attacks shortly after they began, or failed to mention them altogether.

The raids come during the holy month of Ramadan and shortly after President Hassan Rouhani was reelected.

Thomas Erdbrink, bureau chief for the New York Times, reports that the attacks will come as a personal embarrassment to Rouhani, who ran on his security record.

He also reports that the shrine is largely used by foreign tourists, and that security was lax when he visited last month.

The mausoleum is in southern Tehran, around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the parliament building.

Shia Iran has been singled out as a target by Sunni jihadists, including the Islamic State group, but has largely escaped attacks within its urban centres.

Iran provides key ground forces against IS and other rebel groups in Syria and Iraq.

The Kremlin said that an attack on two targets in Tehran by armed men underlined the need for countries to pool their efforts to fight against terrorism, something it said meant working closely with Muslim nations.

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