Six attackers went after two highly symbolic targets
US President Donald Trump says, "... states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote"
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards say Saudi Arabia supported ISIS in the deadly twin attacks in Tehran on Wednesday, an accusation likely to infuriate the Saudi kingdom amid high tensions in the region.
At least 12 people were killed when six attackers mounted simultaneous gun and suicide bomb assaults on Iran’s Parliament building and the tomb of the republic’s revolutionary founder, in one of the most audacious assaults to hit Tehran in decades. The targets were highly symbolic.
Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shiite-majority Iran have long had a sectarian feud. The rivals are on opposite sides of violent conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, and given the tensions, Iran’s implication about the attack isn’t a great shock.
The ISIS media wing, Amaq, claimed “fighters with the Islamic State” carried out the assault. It was the first time that ISIS, a Sunni Muslim group fighting Iranian-backed militias in Syria, has claimed responsibility for an attack in Iran, which is predominantly Shiite.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vowed revenge for the attack, and tied it to the visit of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia in May.
“World public opinion, especially in Iran, sees the fact that this terrorist act was perpetrated soon after the meeting of the US president with the heads of one of the reactionary regional states that has always supported … terrorists as to be very meaningful,” the statement read, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.
The statement did not explicitly name Saudi Arabia, but the implication was clear. It continued to say that the as ISIS’s claim of responsibility for the attacks showed the country’s “complicity in this wild move.”
Trump issued a written statement saying he felt for Iranian civilians, but the government has itself to blame for the attack.
“We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times,” Trump said. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”