Funeral in Iran as Revolutionary Guards warn US of 'fallout' / PHOTO

U.S: will face "fallout" from a deadly rebel bomb attack in southeast Iran, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander was quoted as saying.

Funeral in Iran as Revolutionary Guards warn US of 'fallout'  / PHOTO

 

The United States will face "fallout" from a deadly rebel bomb attack in southeast Iran, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander was quoted as saying on Saturday by a semi-official Iranian news agency.

Massoud Jazayeri did not elaborate on what he meant, according to Reuters. Iran has accused arch-foe Washington of backing Jundollah, the group that claimed responsibility for Thursday's blasts that killed 28 people and wounded 306, including members of the Guards.

"Jundollah has been supported by America for its terrorist acts in the past ... America will have to await the fallout of such criminal and savage measures," said Jazayeri, deputy head of the dominant ideological wing of Iran's armed forces.

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Jundollah, a Baluchi Muslim rebel group, said it set off the bombs at a prominent Shi'ite Muslim mosque in the city of Zahedan in retaliation for the Islamic Republic's execution in June of Jundollah leader Abdolmalek Rigi.

Iran, in the past has accused Pakistan, Britain and the United States of backing Jundollah to create instability in the southeast of predominantly Shi'ite Iran.

Blaming on West

Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, an envoy of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the funeral, also blamed Washington for the attack, the official news agency IRNA reported.

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Parliament speaker Ali Larijani directly accused the United States for the bombings.

"Today, the country is mourning the tragic explosion in Zahedan which was done with the backing of Americans. Americans can't come up with any excuse since they are connected with the Rigi group," he said, quoted on the website.

The United States is embroiled in a stand-off with Iran over its nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is for peaceful energy purposes.

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Tehran and Washington severed diplomatic relations shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Jundollah, which says it is fighting for the rights of Iran's Baluchi Muslim minority, said Rigi's relatives carried out the bombings targeting a Revolutionary Guards gathering.

Funeral

The bodies of those killed were buried on Saturday in a ceremony in Zahedan attended by tens of thousands of people, according to Iranian state television.

Live footage showed the coffins, shrouded in Iranian flags, being carried on trucks with mourners chanting "Death to America" and demanding punishment of the attackers.

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Iran arrested Rigi in February, four months after Jundollah claimed responsibility for a bombing which killed dozens of people, including 15 members of the Guards. That was the deadliest attack in Iran since the 1980s.

Zahedan is the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province on the border with Pakistan. The province is dogged by serious security problems with frequent clashes between Iranian police and drug dealers and bandits.

"Pursue into Pakistan"

A senior police official, Ahmadreza Radan, warned that Iran had a right to "pursue rebels inside Pakistan territory ... Iran has limited patience. Instability in Sistan-Baluchestan is rooted abroad (where) there is lack of will to confront rebels."

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He said 40 people "who wanted to create instability" in Zahedan had been arrested there since the latest bombing.

Iran is grappling with ethnic and religious tensions in the southeastern province ande authorities have responded to attacks by Baluchi rebels with a spate of hangings. Human rights groups and the West have condemned the hangings.

Iran rejects allegations by rights groups that it discriminates against ethnic and religious minorities.

Resignation

But MP Abbas Ali Noora from Sistan-Baluchestan resigned in protest at the handling of security in the province, saying such an attack was expected after the execution of Rigi.

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"The culture of this region is of revenge. After Rigi's execution, we had warned that this group would retaliate," he told ILNA news agency. "We expected such retaliatory actions" on days linked to Shiite religious events.

Noora was the second lawmaker from the region to resign, following the example of Zahedan parliamentarian Hossein Ali Shahriari who stepped down shortly after the attack.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Temmuz 2010, 18:54
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