Iran minister calls Trump's condolences for attacks 'repugnant'

Elias Hubbard
June 9, 2017

Tasmin news agency said there were unconfirmed reports that the attackers had taken four hostages inside the parliament building, but the state news agency IRNA reported that the situation at parliament is under control and a session is going ahead.

Reza Seifollahi, an official in the country's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by the independent Shargh daily as saying that the perpetrators of the attacks were Iranian nationals. He did not elaborate.

On Thursday, Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavai said investigators were working to determine whether Saudi Arabia had a role Wednesday's attacks but said it was too soon to say if that was the case.

While Trump expressed sympathy for the victims, he leveled a barbed warning at Iran, after the US leader took a hard line on the nation during a recent Middle East visit.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet on Thursday called the White House comments "repugnant" and accused the US of supporting terror.

ISIS claimed responsibility and threatened more attacks against Iran's majority Shi'ite population, seen by the hardline Sunni militants as heretics.

According to a statement from the Fars news agency, Iran "sees the fact that this terrorist act was perpetrated soon after the meeting of the U.S. president with the heads of one of the reactionary regional states that has always supported".

AP reported that Pakistan also condemned the attacks and said Islamabad stands in solidarity with the people of Iran after Wednesday's attacks.

Iran has indirectly suggested that Saudi Arabia, its major regional rival and a US ally, played a role in the attack.

Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account:"Repugnant White House statement".

The IRGC quickly placed the blame on Saudi Arabia, accusing the Arab world's leading Sunni power of backing Isis.

On the streets of the capital Thursday, Iranians said they remained suspicious that Saudi Arabia had a hand in the attack. "The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack".

The death toll from Wednesday's incidents in Tehran grew to 17, while more than 40 others have been wounded.

Iranian media, meanwhile, expressed shock at the attacks at a time when Tehran claims that it is interfering in Syria an Iraq militarily to fight ISIS and terrorism, and prevent bloodshed and war from reaching Iran.

At the same day, the United States Congress acted in a procedural vote to advance a new set of sanctions against Iran, despite calls by Democrats.

They had fled Iran after their cell was disbanded at the time and their ringleader, Abu Aysheh, was killed, it added. The revered shrine was not damaged.

Tehran's stock exchange fell almost 2 percent Thursday after the attacks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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