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The Islamic State group claims responsibility for attack that killed 84 people in Iran

Tasnim News via Agence France-Presse The attack, which left 84 dead, took place near the Saheb al-Zaman mosque which houses the tomb of General Qassem Soleimani killed in January 2020 in an American drone attack in Iraq.

The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility on Thursday, while Iran observed a day of national mourning, for the attack in the south of the country which left 84 dead the day before, near the tomb of General Qassem Soleimani, former architect of Iranian military operations in the Middle East.

The double explosion occurred in a very tense regional context since the start of the conflict on October 7 between Israel and Hamas, and the day after the elimination of a senior member of this Palestinian Islamist movement in a strike near Beirut, attributed to Israel.

IS indicated via its Telegram channels that two of its members had “activated their explosive belt” in the middle of “a large gathering of apostates, near the tomb of their leader “Qassem Soleimani ” yesterday in Kerman, southern Iran.”

A crowd gathered there to commemorate the death of the general, killed in January 2020 by an American strike in Iraq and celebrated in Iran for his role in the defeat of ISIS.

The public funerals of the victims, planned for Friday, were “cancelled by decision” of the authorities, the governor of Kerman also told the Tasnim news agency, specifying that the victims will be buried “only in the presence of the families”. 60~/p>

Thursday, the Minister of the Interior, Ahmad Vahidi, also indicated to the local agency Isna that security would be reinforced at the porous borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan, crossing points for groups armed forces fighting Iranian power.

Earlier in the day, the official Irna agency cited “an informed source”, indicating that the first explosion had been caused by a suicide bomber, a man, whose body had been torn to pieces. For the second, the investigation continues but it was most likely also a suicide bomber, added Irna.

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“Severe response”

In Iran, officials had before the IS claim immediately pointed the finger at Israel and the United States, with a political adviser to Iranian President Mohammad Jamshidi accusing the “American and Zionist regimes” of 'be behind the attack.

The US State Department had deemed any suggestion of US or Israeli involvement “absurd”, with a senior US official speaking on condition of anonymity saying the attack looked “like the type of thing » made by ISIS “in the past”.

An initial toll of more than 100 deaths was revised downwards on Thursday by the head of the country's emergency services, Jafar Miadfar, who reported 84 people killed and 284 injured.

This attack is the deadliest in the country since 1978, when an arson attack killed at least 377 people in a cinema in Abadan, according to AFP archives.

Sworn enemy of Iran, Israel has not commented on the attack. “We are focused on fighting with Hamas” in the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had promised before the IS claim a “severe response” to this act, with President Ebrahim Raïssi canceling a trip planned for Thursday to Turkey, according to state media.

International convictions

The first explosion occurred 700 meters from General Soleimani's grave, the second one kilometer further, according to Iranian sources.

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday “strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack.” “Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most dangerous threats to international peace and security,” its members reaffirmed.

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, supported by Tehran, denounced a “terrorist act” which “seeks to destabilize the security of the Islamic Republic in the service of the agenda of the Zionist entity (Israel)”.

Syria expressed “its complete solidarity in the face of the terrorist attacks and shameful plots” targeting, according to it, its Iranian ally.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced an attack “shocking in its cruelty and cynicism”.

The UN Secretary General, the European Union, France, Germany, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia also condemned the attack.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116