Rouhani says group behind military parade attack financed by Gulf states

Iranian Students&apos News Agency ISNA Iranian armed forces members and civilians take shelter in a shooting during a military parade marking the 38th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran in the southwestern

At least 25 people were killed and 60 others injured in a terror attack on a military parade in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz, IRNA news agency quoted Ali Hossein Hossein Zadeh, political deputy of the Khuzestan governor, as saying.

The IRNA report said those wounded in the attack Saturday included a woman and a child.

Officials said the gunmen were terrorists, but so far, no specific group has come forward to claim responsibility.

Khuzestan was a major battleground of the 1980s war with Iraq and the province saw unrest in 2005 and 2011, but has since been largely quiet.

Iran's foreign minister is blaming regional countries and their "U.S. masters" for an attack on a military parade that killed at least eight people.

"Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives", he wrote on Twitter.

A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, however, alleged that the attackers were separatists backed by Saudia Arabia, Iran's regional archrival.

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The incident happened Saturday, in the country's southern region, bordering Iraq.

He also said Iran had warned the United Arab Emirates over "offensive remarks" attributed to a UAE "political advisor" following the attack. The province has a large ethnic Arab community, many of them Sunni, the Muslim denomination to which IS adheres and which is a minority in Shiite Iran.

People rush for shelter as shooting starts during a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz on September 22.

The statement also criticized Britain over a Saudi-linked, Farsi-language satellite channel immediately airing an interview with an Ahvazi separatist claiming the attack. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their USA masters accountable for such attacks.

IS jihadists said via their propaganda mouthpiece Amaq that "Islamic State fighters attacked a gathering of Iranian forces" in Ahvaz.

The men had visited the site of the parade days in advance in order to plan their attack, he said without elaboration.

The attack came four months after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, against the advice of the global community and the wishes of 63 percent of the American public.

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Iran will be scrambling to determine the motives for the Saturday's high-profile attack as it faces growing USA pressure.

In its annual Country Reports on Terrorism released on September 19, the State Department claimed that Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining USA interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.

Since then, the USA has brought sanctions back into place, despite opposition from European Union partners, China and Russian Federation, and warned that anyone trading with Iran would also be punished.

"It is expected that (the Danish and Dutch) governments hand over the perpetrators of this attack and anyone related to them to Iran for a fair trial", he added.

Footage shows the moment attackers open fire on the military parade in #Ahvaz, killing at least 10 people including a journalist and several IRGC forces. In June past year, suicide bombers attacked parliament and the mausoleum of the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Khomeini, killing 18 people.

Despite the Trump administration's touchy relations with Iran, the US government strongly deplored the attack, saying that "the United States condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives".

Rouhani engineered Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with President Donald Trump's decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

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