Almost 50 arrested after Tehran attack

A motorcycle repairman reads a newspaper at his shop near Iran's parliament building in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, May 8, 2017, a day after a pair of stunning Islamic State-claimed attacks on Iran's parliament and the tomb of its.

The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence said on Thursday that the attackers were Iranian citizens who had left the country to fight for the Islamic State in the terror group's two regional strongholds, Iraq and Syria.

"The mastermind who controlled the team. who had fled outside the country. paid the price for his crimes, with the cooperation of intelligence services of allied countries", Mr Alavi told state television.

Iranian authorities on Sunday stated they had arrested six people involved in the attacks in Tehran last week, which killed at least 17 and injured 52 people.

"With the help of security forces and families of the suspects, 41 people linked to the attacks and to Daesh (Islamic State) have been arrested in different provinces", state TV quoted the interior ministry as saying.

The contest for regional dominance between Shiite Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's main Sunni power, spread to the heart of the Gulf this week as the Saudis led a drive to isolate Qatar, condemning their neighbour for its ties with Iran and accusing it of financing militant groups, a charge Qatar denies.

According to Iranian authorities, the arrests were made as security forces stepped up efforts to clamp down on suspected terrorists.

Iran has indirectly suggested that Saudi Arabia, its major regional rival and a USA ally, played a role in the attack.

Khomeini's successor and the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, both tried to downplay the seriousness of the attacks.

Khamenei had initially played down the attacks, describing them as "firecrackers" that "will not have the slightest effect on the will of the people".

He said anti-Iranian remarks by Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and President Donald Trump are a "matter of disgrace" for them.

The militant group's Amaq news agency released a video on Thursday evening showing what it claimed was a message from the Tehran attackers.

Publicly, the Iranian leadership has sought to cast blame for the attacks on its favorite targets: Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel. IS has also claimed multiple attacks inside Saudi Arabia.

Equipped with AK-47 assault rifles, handguns and suicide vests, the gunmen killed security guards and ordinary people before holding people hostage in the upper floors of the building.

During the procession through parliament, the heads of Iran's executive, legislative and judiciary branches all paid their respects, including President Hassan Rouhani, Larijani and the head of the judiciary, Sadeq Larijani Amoli.

Tehran police said the auto the attackers used for both attacks was discovered on Saturday in the city center.

  • Leroy Wright