Twin terror attacks hit Iran’s parliament, Imam Khomeini shrine

June 7, 2017 - 21:27

TEHRAN – Iran's parliament and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Revolution, were targeted on Wednesday morning by two simultaneous gun and suicide bomb assaults.

The attacks unfolded as a number of gunmen stormed the main gate of the parliament building in central Tehran and opened fire. At the same time, a shooting spree targeted Imam Khomeini’s shrine about 25 kilometers away in south Tehran.

Nathalie Goulet, French senator and vice-chair of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said the terror attacks targeted Iranian government and democracy symbols in Iran.

According to reports, the attackers took a number of hostages and detonated suicide bombs. All attackers were killed after nearly four hours of clashes with security forces.

The incident marks one of the most brutal terrorist attacks to hit the Iranian capital Tehran in decades. A third attack was also foiled, according to the Intelligence Ministry.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement afterwards, saying two terrorist teams targeted the shrine of Imam Khomeini and the parliament to bring terror and destabilize the country.

“The first terrorist team, comprising of two persons, entered the premises of the Imam Khomeini shrine at 10:30 (local time). One of them exploded himself and the other one was killed in clashes with security forces,” the statement said.

It also said that the second team, comprising of four, simultaneously attacked the office building of the parliament, adding that one of them was killed in a suicide blast and the other three were gunned down during clashes with the security forces.

Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari, the deputy interior minister, had said earlier that the attackers were dressed as women when they entered parliament's main gate. 

Daesh (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks. Its media wing, Amaq, claimed “fighters with the Islamic State” carried out the attacks.

Only hours before the attacks in Iran, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said Iran must be punished for its interference in the region and called Tehran the world’s leading supporter of terrorism.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was on an official visit to Turkey, strongly condemned the deadly attacks, lamenting that the entire region has been plagued with terrorism and insecurity.

12 civilians are killed and 42 others injured in the vicious attacks

Meanwhile, the European Union foreign policy chief Feredrica Mogerini condemned the attacks, offering condolences to the Iranian people.

“Today is again a very sad day,” Mogherini said in a press conference on Wednesday. “Condolences with the victims of the attack in Tehran.”

Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, said he “stands in solidarity with the President of Iranian Parliament and the Iranian people.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also forwarded a message to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, conveying condolences over the Tehran attacks.

In his message, Putin condemned the attack which “once again emphasized the need to boost international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.”

Later in the day, Iran’s neighboring countries including Pakistan and Qatar condemned the twin attacks and expressed solidarity with the Iranian nation.

“The State of Qatar has condemned and denounced the two attacks which took place in the Iranian capital Tehran and left many people killed and injured,” Qatar's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan said it stands in solidarity with the people of Iran after Wednesday's attacks.

Nathalie Goulet, French senator and vice-chair of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said the June 7 terror attacks targeted Iranian government and democracy symbols in Iran.

“Iran remains the only country in the Persian Gulf to have a democratic parliament even it doesn't match our critériums. Iran just showed a very democratic process in the presidential election,” Goulet told Trend news agency.


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