Iran summons envoys of UK, Netherlands & Denmark, after military parade attack
Tehran has summoned the envoys of three European countries and is accusing them of harboring radical opposition groups, after an attack at a military parade in the city of Ahvaz claimed nearly 30 lives and left dozens injured.
"It is not acceptable that these groups are not listed as terrorist organizations by the European Union as long as they have not carried out a terrorist attack in Europe," Bahram Qasemi, Foreign Ministry spokesman, said, as cited by the IRNA news agency.
The summoned diplomats were grilled over the whereabouts of some “members of the mercenary terrorist group,” that Tehran suspects their countries of sheltering. At the meetings with the ambassadors of the Netherlands and Denmark, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasized that it had previously warned about the presence of people belonging to terrorist groups in their respective countries and stressing that it wanted to arrest and prosecute them.
“It is not acceptable that these groups are not listed as terrorist organizations by the European Union as long as they have not carried out a terrorist attack in Europe," Bahram Qasemi, Foreign Ministry spokesman, said, as cited by IRNA news agency. The same tone was also adopted with the British embassy’s temporary acting representative in Tehran, in the absence of the country’s ambassador.
Iran emphasized that it wants the three European nations to issue a condemnation of the terrorist act, noting that “these terrorists are exactly the same as ISIS, and no difference should be made between citizens of a country and another country.”
Up to 29 people were killed and more than 60 others injured after gunmen fired indiscriminately at the crowd during a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. All four attackers were neutralized in the 10-minute gunfight.
Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the ‘Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz’ separatist group, which Tehran says is supported by Saudi Arabia. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country held “regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such [an] attack.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later also linked the Ahvaz shooting to the US allies in the region.
“This crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States, and their goal is to create insecurity in our dear country,” Khamenei said on his website, urging security forces to track down those responsible for the attack and bring them to justice.
Following the attack on Saturday, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani issued instructions to the Ministry of Intelligence to mobilize all facilities of the security and military apparatuses to quickly “identify the terrorists and their links” noting that “those who support the terrorists should be held accountable.”
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