Iran said on Thursday that gunmen and bombers who attacked Tehran were Iranian members of Islamic State who had fought in the militants’ strongholds in Syria and Iraq – deepening the regional ramifications of the assaults.
“Everyone should know that they are too little to be able to influence the willpower of the Iranian nation and the country’s officials”, Khamenei said in public statements following the attack, according to the Iranian state-run Fars News Agency.
These statements come against the fact that Tehran has attached the IS to Wahhabi and Takfiri modes of thought, preached in Saudi Arabia.
Sunni Gulf Arab states are in the midst of a major diplomatic crisis after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar on Monday over claims it supports extremism and has fewer tensions with Iran.
It identified the men only by their first names, saying they didn’t want to release their last names due to security and privacy concerns for their families.
State TV also showed pictures of ammunition, rifles and binoculars laid out next to an Islamic State flag, all, it said, taken from the attackers. Dozens of people were wounded.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was praying for the victims, but added that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote”.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have suggested that the attack was linked to Saudi Arabia. Iranians will not be intimidated by such attacks. Many Iranian lawmakers agree, highlighted by their reaction to the Parliament attack.
The Sunni jihadists of IS consider Shiite Iran to be apostates, and Tehran is deeply involved in fighting the group in both Syria and Iraq.
Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed what he called the “repugnant White House statement”. Some pointed to comments in May by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of the King Salman and the kingdom’s defense minister, who said his country would “work so that it becomes a battle for them in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia”.
A combination of suicide bomb attacks and shooting sprees hit both the Parliament and the Khomeini shrine on Wednesday, with Iranian authorities later confirming that the individuals guilty of the attack were Iranian nationals.