Iran supreme leader accuses Saudi Arabia, UAE of funding Ahvaz attackers

A general view shows an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz Iran in this

Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alawi announced that the country's security forces managed to detain members of a "terrorist team" behind the recent deadly attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

"The terrorists' hideout was found and 22 people involved (in the attack) were arrested", it said, adding that explosives were seized along with military and communications equipment.

Officials and an eyewitness said the four gunmen who carried out the attack were clad in Iranian military uniforms and had sprayed the crowd with gunfire using weapons they had stashed in a nearby park.

That sentiment was expanded on by prominent Emirati political scientist Abdulkhalek Abdulla after the attack, when he said targeted the military was not a terrorist attack and that similar events could increase in the future.

Speaking on Monday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the "cowardly action" had been conducted by those "whose hands are in the pockets of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E".

"Though the Iranian government is inherently paranoid, U.S. administrations have in the past discussed and funded groups opposed to the Iranian government", said Holly Dagres, non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, highlighting $10 million handed to anti-government groups by the State Department following the passing of the 2006 Iran Freedom Support Act during George W. Bush's presidency.

The deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned USA and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a "devastating" response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in the attack in Ahvaz.

At least two of the men identified have appeared in a video distributed by the Islamic State group in its own claim of responsibility for the Ahvaz attack.

'You have seen our revenge before.


The coffins were draped in Iranian flags and mourners carried pictures of those killed, as well as banners saying "we will stand to the end" and "no to terrorism".

But the Iranian government has directed its anger outwards, blaming the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Commodity traders Trafigura and Mercuria said today that Brent could rise to $90 per barrel by Christmas and pass $100 in early 2019, as markets tighten once US sanctions against Iran are fully implemented from November.

Haley was refuting Tehran's earlier assertions that the U.S. or its Gulf allies should be held accountable for enabling the attack, when she told CNN's 'State of the Union, ' that Rouhani "needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from".

"Iran's security, military intelligence apparatuses would let go".

It is, however, highly unlikely the Guards will strike any of its foes directly and risk setting off a regional conflict.

Rouhani engineered Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with Trump's decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said Monday the attack showed Iran has "a lot of enemies", according to remarks posted on his website.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was set up after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shi'ite clerical ruling system and revolutionary values. It answers to Ayatollah Khamenei and has an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy and air units.

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