Iranian officials blame US and Israel for deadly ambush on military parade

Various Iranian officials claimed Israel was responsible for a deadly attack on a military parade in Iran on Saturday.

By: World Israel News Staff

Gunmen disguised as soldiers opened fire at an annual Iranian military parade on Saturday, with the death toll reaching 29 in the bloodiest attack the Islamic Republic has seen in years.

The attack took place in Ahvaz, with the assailants apparently targeting Revolutionary Guardsmen.

While suspicion immediately fell on the Arab separatists in the region, who have mounted previous attacks, several top Iranian officials also pointed fingers at Israel and the United States.

Almost immediately, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed regional rivals and their “U.S. masters,” which was interpreted as a reference to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Echoing Zarif’s comments, an Iranian army spokesman also fingered Israel and the US, without citing any support for his accusations.

Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi told Iran’s official news agency IRNA that the gunmen were “not from [the Islamic State] or other groups fighting [Iran’s] Islamic system … but are linked to America and [Israel’s intelligence agency] Mossad,” Times of Israel reported.

Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri released a similar statement to Irans’s ISNA news service, “condemn[ing] the practice of tyrannical regimes that are mercenaries to advance the goals of the United States and Zionism.”

Jahangiri also referred to “American and Zionist goals, mercenaries, and the stability, security and integrity of the powerful Iran.”

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Following the attack, the Arab Struggle Movement to Liberate Ahvaz, a separatist group in the region, told The Associated Press that members of an associated organization carried out the attack. A spokesman told the AP that the group wanted to undermine the Iranian government “on the day it wants to give a message to the world that it is powerful and in control.”