On Monday, the deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami blamed the United States and Israel for Saturday’s deadly attack at a parade in the city of Ahvaz, which killed 25 people, 12 of which were its members. He also warned the two countries of a “devastating” response coming their way.
Salami reportedly said, “You have seen our revenge before … You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done.”
The attackers, who were disguised as soldiers, opened fire at the parade, resulting in the deadliest terror attack in Iran in almost a decade. Suspects have already been arrested and Monday has been declared a day of mourning throughout the country.
The United States expressed sympathy, saying it “condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives.”
“We stand with the Iranian people against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism and express our sympathy to them at this terrible time,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
The attack happened as rows of Revolutionary Guardsmen marched down Ahvaz’s Quds in commemoration of the start of Iran’s long 1980s war with Iraq. Some of the soldiers tried to protect onlookers, using their bodies as shields.
The region’s Arab separatists claimed responsibility. Reuters reported that Islamic State’s Amaq agency posted a video that purportedly showed three men in a vehicle on their way to the parade.
“We are Muslims, they are kafirs (non-believers),” the man reportedly could be heard saying. “We will destroy them with a strong and guerrilla-style attack, inshallah (God willing),” he continued.
Several hours after the attack, state TV reported that all four gunmen had been killed, with three dying during the attack and one later succumbing to his wounds at a hospital.