Furious Iran summons British diplomats after 25 slaughtered in military parade terror

Ahvaz parade attack terrorists trained in two Persian Gulf littoral states

Iran's Revolutionary Guards vowed on Sunday to wreak "deadly and unforgettable" vengeance for the attack, which killed 12 of their comrades.

Iranian officials, who blame the separatists for the attack, say the militants wore military uniforms and hid their weapons along the parade route ahead of time - showing a level of sophistication previously unseen by the separatists.

Islamic State and an Arab nationalist separatist group, called the Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz, both claimed responsibility for the attack. He could have been referring to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain - close USA military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for militant groups across the Middle East.

The country's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said "regional terror sponsors" were responsible for the attack, adding he held "their United States masters accountable". Speaking on September 23 shortly before leaving Tehran for the UN General Assembly in New York, Rohani said the perpetrators of the attack and their affiliation were "absolutely clear" to Tehran.

Iran's Armed Forces staged the countrywide military parades to mark the Sacred Defense Week on the 38th anniversary of the onset of the Iraqi imposed war on the Islamic Republic back in 1980.

Iranian state television says gunmen have attacked a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, killing and wounding several people.

Gen. Abolfazl Shekarch, a spokesman for the Iranian armed forces told Mehr, a semi-official Iranian news agency.

Zarif also said journalists were among the victims, but that has not been confirmed. State media in Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the attack.

The attack took place Saturday at an annual event in Ahvaz, killing at least 29 people, including several civilians, and injuring almost 70 others.

"The overriding concern right now is the economic crisis and the impact of US sanctions, linked to Iran's regional contest with Riyadh and conflicts such as Syria, Yemen, and Iraq", he adds.

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There has been a blizzard of furious statements from top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, accusing Iran's adversaries the United States and Gulf states of provoking the bloodshed and threatening a tough response.

ISIS said via its propaganda mouthpiece Amaq that "Islamic State fighters attacked a gathering of Iranian forces" in Ahvaz.

"The United States stands with the Iranian people and encourages the regime in Tehran to focus on keeping them safe at home", Marquis said in an emailed statement.

Rouhani's allegation will likely ratchet up tensions with Iran's rival Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, which along with the U.S. have been working to isolate the Islamic Republic.

But attacks on regime targets inside major cities are far rarer.

The British charge d'affaires "was told that it is not acceptable that the spokesman for the mercenary Al-Ahwazi group be allowed to claim responsiblity for this terrorist act through a London-based TV network", said the ministry's spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi.

Qassemi pointed to a bloody terrorist attack in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, saying that the USA made baseless allegations against Iran while the Islamic Republic is one of the main victims of acts of terror by terrorist groups.

The incident comes as the Iranian government tries to parry what it sees as a USA -led war on its economy after President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. In June 2017, coordinated assaults claimed by Islamic State on the country's parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini killed 17 people.

Iran sees Washington's main Arab ally in the region and a vocal critic of the nuclear deal, Saudi Arabia, as enabling US economic policies against it and trying to foment unrest in the country.

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