Dubai: Iran’s top leader on Thursday vowed to retaliate against those who threatened the country’s security after the massacre of Shiite pilgrims, an attack claimed by Islamic State militants. Tensions amid widespread anti-government protests.
In a statement read on state television, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attackers “will definitely be punished” and called on the Iranian people to unite.
“We all have a duty to deal with the enemy and the traitors or the ignorant,” Khamenei said a day after the attack, which killed 15 people.
Khamenei’s call for unity appears to be focused on the majority of government loyalists and non-protesters, whose movement for nearly six weeks has been seen by authorities as a threat to national security.
Iran’s clerk leader has faced nationwide protests since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, in her custody on September 16.
The people of Iran have called for the death of Khamenei and the end of the Islamic Republic during the protests, which have become one of the bravest challenges facing clerical leaders since the 1979 revolution, attracting many Iranians. Follow the path.
Iranian officials say they have arrested a gunman who attacked the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz. State media has blamed the “takfiri terrorists”, the Tehran city logo used for stubborn Sunni Muslim militants such as Islamic State.
A senior official said the assailant, who is suspected to be in critical condition, was shot dead by police.
“We have not yet been able to question him,” Deputy Governor Easmail Mohebipour was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
CCTV footage broadcast on state television on Thursday showed the attacker entering the shrine after hiding an assault rifle in a bag and shooting as worshipers tried to escape and hid in an alley. Corridor.
The Islamic State group, which has posed a security threat across the Middle East, has claimed responsibility for previous violence in Iran, including two attacks in 2017 targeting parliament and the grave of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Since its supreme power, when it ruled millions of people in the Middle East and wreaked havoc around the world with bombings and shootings, ISIS has fallen into the shadows.
Iran has repeatedly accused the West and its regional rivals, Israel and Saudi Arabia, of carrying out attacks. Saudi Arabia denies this and Israel normally refuses to comment on its actions against the Islamic Republic.
The killing of Shiite pilgrims on Wednesday came on the same day that Iranian security forces clashed with protesters on the 40th anniversary of Amini’s death.
Iranian leaders may have hoped that the attack on the shrine would draw attention to the unrest, but there were no signs of it.
The official IRNA news agency said protesters angry over the death of “suspects” smashed windows of banks, tax offices and other public buildings in the northwestern city of Mahabad.
Iranian rights groups say there have been unconfirmed reports that some members of Amini’s family are under house arrest. Reuters could not verify these reports. Reuters tried to reach Amini’s father and brother.
Authorities accusing the United States and other Western nations of creating what they call “riots” have not yet announced the death toll, but state media said members of the security forces About 30 people were killed.
At least 252 protesters were killed in the unrest, including 36 minors, human rights activists HRANA said in a statement.
It said 30 members of the security forces were killed and more than 13,800 people were arrested Wednesday in protests in 122 cities and towns and 109 universities.
Reported by Dubai Newsroom; Written by Michael Georgy; Edited by Clarence Fernandez and Nick Macfie
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