For the first time, the Islamic State (ISIS) has struck out at Iran on Iranian soil in two Wednesday attacks on Tehran’s parliament building and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Following the incidents, which ISIS has claimed responsibility for, the White House issued a statement saying, in-part: “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”
According to the Iranian Interior Ministry, 13 are confirmed killed and 43 are reported injured. An Iranian national security official, Reza Seifollhai, told reporters in Tehran the attackers were of Iranian origin recruited into ISIS’ ranks.
In the aftermath of the attack, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards issued a press statement which blamed Saudi Arabia for the attacks.
“This terrorist action, coming one week after the meeting of the president of the United States with the leader of the one of the region’s reactionary governments [Saudi Arabia] … shows they are involved in this savage action,” it read.
Late Wednesday, Iranian police arrested five believed to have a connection with Wednesday’s attack.
Officials say the attack on Iranian parliament occurred Wednesday morning when four gunmen armed with light weapons entered parliament and made their way through the building randomly shooting down persons inside. It is believed one of the four attackers detonated himself inside the building shortly after gaining access to the premises.
Reports say the four attackers were dressed in burkas.
Following the gunmen entering the building, Iranian security officers responded and surrounded the building. Officials say a standoff ensued for several hours, with random exchanges of gunfire occurring. Several hours later, Iranian police reentered the premises and cleared the building. All four attackers were reported killed.
Almost simultaneous with the attack on parliament, authorities in Tehran say a second attack occurred at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which is located south of Tehran.
According to reports, two attackers, including one woman, breached the grounds of the mausoleum, opened fire and detonated an explosive device strapped to the male attacker. Authorities there say both assailants were shot dead by Iranian police.
Following the attack, admitting “ISIS will stay here until doomsday,” the Islamic State’s propaganda arm, Amaq released a video which purported to show footage from the attack.
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif also tweeted late Wednesday that America’s commentary on the situation is not appreciated.
“Repugnant WH statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by US clients. Iranian people reject such US claims of friendship,” Zarif wrote.
[BBC] [Politico] [Reuters] [Vocativ] [Photo courtesy Reuters via Daily Mail]