Iran officials say 5 attackers fought for IS

Iran's Intelligence Ministry on Thursday in a statement revealed the identity of five terrorists who were killed during Wednesday terrorist attacks in Tehran.

For the first time since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, a Sunni extremist group managed to successfully carry out a terrorist attack in Tehran. Profile pictures of corpses and their names were released but their surnames have been kept a secret due to security and privacy concerns for their families.

Also on Friday, Iranian state TV said the Intelligence Ministry had detained 41 suspects in Tehran and the western Kurdish provinces of the country. The US administration sent sympathies to Iran, but lectured that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote".

‎"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 in a press release.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speak during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Jun.

"The Iranian nation sees this terrorist action that happened a week after the joint meeting of the US president with the heads of one of the reactionary regional states that has constantly been supporting Takfiri terrorists as to be very meaningful, and believes that [Islamic State's] acknowledging the responsibility indicates their complicity in this wild move", the Washington Times reported citing the IRGC statement. He did something similar in the wake of the June 3 terror attacks in London, which claimed seven lives.

Also, one of the two attackers who raided Khomeini Shrine blasted his explosive belt and the three others were shot dead by security guards. For its part, Iran cited Saudi Arabia's support for jihadists and its backing of hard-line Sunni fighters in Syria.

Iranians awoke Thursday to find increased security on the streets of the capital and an announcement that the death toll from the attack had risen by five to 17, according to the coroner's office. Iranian security forces killed all four of these attackers. Contributing to this was President Donald Trump's visit to Riyadh, where he waggled a sword, and set aside his previous hostility to praise Saudi Arabia, welcome big new arms deals, and please his hosts by repeating Saudi condemnations of Iran.

Any struggle for influence between the Sunni Muslim kingdom and the revolutionary Shi'ite theocracy ought to take place "inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia", he said without elaborating.

The statement said Saudi Arabia "constantly supports" terrorists including the Islamic State group, adding that the IS claim of responsibility "reveals (Saudi Arabia's) hand in this barbaric action".

ISIS, a Sunni group, considers Shi'ite Iran to be apostates, and Teheran is deeply involved in fighting the group in both Syria and Iraq.

Soon after the attack, social media in Iran was abuzz with messages on different platforms such as Telegram and Twitter with every detail of the terrorist operation. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also played down the effects of Wednesday's fatal events, referring to them as a "firecracker" that "will not have the slightest effect on the will of the people", AFP reported. The other attack, involving a female suicide bomber, was launched at the Ayatollah Khomeini mausoleum, a de facto shrine to the founder of the Islamic Republic.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said he did not know who was responsible for the attacks and said there was no evidence Saudi extremists were involved. Rights group Amnesty International urged Iranian authorities to carry out impartial investigations into the attacks.

  • Leroy Wright