Attack on Iranian Military Parade Kill 29

Terrorists open fire at military parade in Ahvaz

TEHRAN Sep. 22 – The military parade currently underway in southwest city of Ahvaz have come under terrorist attacks on Saturday

Iran's Revolutionary Guard is a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Rouhani said: "The small puppet countries in the region are backed by America, and the United States is provoking them and giving them the necessary capabilities".

Iran has suggested that it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries' oil exports in retaliation for US sanctions meant to halt its sales of crude.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

In a phone conversation with President Rouhani, Putin expressed condolences over the terrorist attack in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz which left 25 people killed and over 60 wounded.

General Ramadan Sharif told the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency the attackers were from the separatist Ahvaz Movement, which seeks to establish an independent Arab state in Khuzestan province, where the attack took place. There was no evidence provided for their claim, though.

Within hours of Saturday's attack, Iran summoned diplomats from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, with IRNA reporting that they were "informed of Iran's strong protests over their respective countries' hosting of some members of the terrorist group".

"It is not acceptable that these groups are not listed as terrorist organisations by the European Union as long as they have not carried out a terrorist attack in Europe", foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Following a deadly attack on a military parade in southern Iran, the country's foreign minister said that regional sponsors of terrorism and their "US masters" are to be held accountable for such assaults.

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

As the violence erupts innocent civilians and the wounded are seen crawling on the ground trying to escape the assault in which the Iranian officials present were targeted.

"The United States stands with the Iranian people and encourages the regime in Tehran to focus on keeping them safe at home", said National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis.

Iran was holding a number of parades in cities including the capital Tehran and the port of Bandar Abbas on the Gulf to mark the start of the country's 1980-88 war with Iraq.

"Those who give intelligence and propaganda support to these terrorists must answer for it", he said on his website.

Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi was quoted by IRNA as saying the terrorists were "not from Da'esh (ISIS) or other groups fighting (Iran's) Islamic system ... but are linked to America and the [Israeli worldwide intelligence agency] Mossad".

In the last decade, mass-casualty militant attacks have been incredibly rare. The attack is meant to undermine Iran's security and stability and as "punishment for ... its rejection of American dependency politics", the statement claimed.

In a keynote speech, Rouhani vowed to boost Iran's ballistic missile capabilities despite Western concerns that were cited by his USA counterpart Donald Trump in May when he abandoned a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.

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