Iran makes more arrests after Tehran attacks

Two guards, 10 government staffers and five civilians were killed in the attacks that simultaneously targeted the country's parliament and the shrine of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran said Saturday it had killed the mastermind behind a terror attack in Tehran this week in which 17 people were killed, the country's Press TV reported.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Friday that terrorist attacks would only increase Tehran's hatred against the USA and its "stooges" such as Saudi Arabia. A video posted on the Islamic State media channel Aamaq News on Thursday shows a group of five men, with their leader dressed in black with his face covered by a mask, speaking in both Arabic and Kurdish, claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Mourners were paying respects to those killed at a ceremony in parliament on Friday morning, in the presence of newly re-elected moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

On Sunday, the head of the justice department in Kordestan province in western Iran announced more arrests.

Khamenei said the attacks "will not damage the Iranian nation's determination and the obvious result is nothing except an increase in hate for the governments of the United States and their stooges in the region like Saudi [Arabia]".

The country's parliament was one of the targets in the assault.

"The person who was commanding them and who was stationed in the border areas, and had left the country after their [attackers'] deaths was killed in coordination with intelligence services of a friendly foreign country", by the Iranian intelligence services, Alavi added. Fifty-two others were injured in the attacks, according to the Interior Ministry.

The US has imposed new sanctions on Tehran for its support of "terrorist" groups in the Middle East, ballistic missile tests and human rights abuses. The attackers had entered Iran at some point previous year, the ministry said without providing precise dates. The U.S. and its local allies are carrying out their own separate offensive against the jihadists in Syria, and clashed with Iranian forces last month.

  • Leroy Wright