Terror Attacks Will Not Weaken Resolve

Terror Attacks Will Not Weaken Resolve
Terror Attacks Will Not Weaken Resolve

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the twin terrorist attacks that hit Tehran Wednesday would not stop the nation from moving forward "united and with a firm determination".

In a condolence message posted Friday on his official website, Ayatollah Khamenei described the attack "a clear sign of the vicious grudge and enmity of arrogant mercenaries toward the dignified people of Iran, and toward everything that is related to the revolution, to the Islamic Republic, and to its late honorable leader [Imam Khomeini]."

He said, "Such crimes, which are an indication of the malevolence and at the same time lowliness of the perpetrators, are too trivial to undermine the determination of the Iranian nation.

"The definite outcome of such action is nothing but an increase in the hatred toward the US government and its agents in the region, the likes of Saudi Arabia."

The US government has long been pushing for Iran to reconsider its support for anti-Israel resistance movements, including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestine's Hamas. To this end successive US governments have imposed economic, oil, banking and all form of possible sanctions on the country for almost four decades and condemn Tehran for sponsoring what it claims "terrorists".  

But the new occupant in the White House, Donald Trump, has taken a much more hostile and harder stance toward Iran compared to his predecessors.

Last month during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Trump and King Salman, whose government is at odds with Iran over various regional conflicts, took turns to vilify Iran as the world's "top sponsor" and "spearhead" of terrorism.

The two simultaneous terrorist attacks targeted the parliament in downtown Tehran and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini in the south of the metropolis.

The self-styled Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, their first in Iran, that left 17 people dead and at least 52 wounded.

Iran is involved in fighting the terror outfit in both Syria and Iraq, where the Wahhabi-Salafi  group, armed and bankrolled with Saudi petrodollars considers all Shia apostates punishable by death, has been spreading death and destruction for years.

  Details of Incident  

According to a statement released Thursday by the Interior Ministry, the dual attacks involving five gunmen armed with rifles and pistols started around 10:30 a.m. local time.

Three assailants entered the Majlis compound aiming to reach the parliament floor, but security personnel denied them entry and terrorists instead walked into an office building next to Majlis and started shooting blindly that left dozens of casualties.

The exchange of gunfire lasted about five hours and the shootings ended around 3 p.m. with the three attackers shot dead.

Two other terrorists went to the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, and clashed with security forces on the way to hit the mausoleum itself.

The shootings ended with one attacker blowing himself up, the other shot dead, and several people dead and injured.

The Interior Ministry said several accomplices s suspected of collaborating with the killers had been arrested around the  mausoleum.

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi told IRNA that agents  had arrested some other terrorists linked to those who committed the twin attacks.

In a separate statement on Thursday, the Intelligence Ministry identified the five perpetrators as Iranian nationals and released pictures of their bodies. Their names included Abu Jihad, Qayyum, Fereydoun, Seryas and Ramin.

"The five were known terrorists… [They had] joined the Islamic State, left the country and participated in the group's atrocities in Mosul and Raqqa," it said, referring to an Iraqi city captured by IS in 2014 and its de facto capital in Syria.

The statement also said the attackers had first returned to Iran in July-August 2016 as part of a network intending "to carry out terrorist operations in religious cities", but were forced to flee after their cell was dismantled.

   Funeral Ceremony

The parliament hosted a funeral ceremony for the victims in Tehran on Friday.    

The event was attended by the heads of executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government, President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary chief Sadeq Amoli-Larijani.

Also joining the ceremony were ministers, ambassadors and survivors of the Wednesday assaults, who were holding up pictures of the victims.

A separate funeral procession was held for the victims after the Friday prayers in the heart of the capital.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Majlis ceremony, Rouhani described the attacks "an act of revenge against democracy".

Rouhani told state TV that "whenever the nation scores a victory, ill-wishers work to deliver a blow to the country and the people", referring to the May 19 presidential election that saw a substantial turnout.  

The president said it is not the first time the nation witnesses such acts of terror, stressing that "people will find their own way to national goals and unity, and the nation will undoubtedly emerge victorious."

Condolence messages poured in after the dual attacks from many countries, including Germany, France, Lebanon, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, India, China and Syria.


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