Iran says it has killed mastermind of twin attacks

The seven people, arrested in Fardis town west of Tehran, provided the logistics for the Wednesday terrorist attacks in the capital, according to Ahmad Fazelian, head of Alborz Province's justice department.

He added that the mastermind of the operation, who had fled the country, was killed by Iranian security forces with help from friendly intelligence services.

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Tehran as Iran held funeral ceremonies for the victims of twin attacks that killed 17 people earlier this week.

The attacks on Tehran's parliament complex and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini also wounded more than 50 people and were the first claimed by IS in Iran.

Three assailants entered the Majlis compound aiming to reach the parliament floor, but security personnel denied them entry and terrorists instead walked into an office building next to Majlis and started shooting blindly that left dozens of casualties.

But yesterday, he turned his wrath over the attacks on the United States and Saudi Arabia, Iran's fiercest rivals.

Newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani has said the attacks would make Iran more united.

During the funeral, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called the USA the "international" version of the Islamic State group and said Washington had exchanged democracy for money, a reference to a recent huge arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia.

It also announced just after the attack the arrest of five suspects at the parliament complex and the Khomeini shrine, in addition to the arrests announced on Friday.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message read at the funeral, said the raids would increase hatred for Saudi Arabia, the region's main Sunni power, and America. He did not however state which country had been involved.

Undaunted, officials say Iran will step up the strategy, which includes sending fighters to battle Daesh in Syria and Iraq alongside allied Shiite groups.

The ministry said the group returned to Iran in the summer of 2016 to carry out terrorist operations in religious places, and escaped when authorities broke up their cell.

  • Leroy Wright