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Iran guards: US, Saudis involved in Tehran attacks

Iran guards: US, Saudis involved in Tehran attacks”

After Iranian security forces killed Abu Aisha along with a number of other group members in western Iran and dismantled their cell, five terrorists escaped from the country, the intelligence ministry's statement reads.

On Wednesday, gunmen opened fire inside the Iranian parliament building in Tehran while a simultaneous attack took place near a shrine devoted to Ayatollah Khomeini south of the capital.

The ministry issued a statement on its website with bloody pictures of the men's corpses.

The assault marks the first attacks claimed by ISIL, in Iran.

Wednesday's attack "adds to cross-Gulf tensions that already had been elevated by the Trump trip - in which anti-Iranism was a principal theme - and by the Iran angle in the actions taken against Qatar", said Paul Pillar, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington and former Central Intelligence Agency officer.

Several administration officials said it took most of the day [bold mine-DL] for the White House to work out the terse, curt wording of a statement that sought to show sympathy for the Iranian public even as it pointedly suggested that the behavior of Tehran's clerical leaders made its people a target.

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In offering condolences to the people of Iran after the attacks, Trump warned that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote".

"This terrorist act took place a week after a joint meeting between the USA president and head of a reactionary regional country [Saudi Arabia] which has been a constant supporter of terrorism", the statement said.

"Repugnant White House statement ... as Iranians counter terror backed by United States clients. Iranian people reject such U.S. claims of friendship", Javad Zarif tweeted.

The U.N's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also strongly condemned the attacks.

Iranian security officials counter that it is their regional rival Saudi Arabia, a close USA ally, that is responsible for funding and spreading the ideology that most closely resembles ISIL's.

Iran is one of the countries fighting IS in Iraq and Syria. Iranians will not be intimidated by such attacks. The attack on parliament left him with shrapnel in his neck and a bullet lodged in his abdomen, his relative said.

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Suicide bombers and gunmen engaged in twin attacks on Iran's parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran.

Shias make up roughly 90 percent of Iran's population, but the country also has a sizeable Sunni minority, particularly around its restive borders with Iraq and Pakistan.

The contest for regional dominance between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's main Sunni power, has helped fuel wars in Syria and Yemen.

Iran's state broadcaster said a security guard was killed at the tomb and that one of the attackers was slain by security guards.

They were armed with rifles and pistols and at least two blew themselves up with suicide vests, Iranian media reported. A woman was also arrested.

Tehran's stock exchange fell almost 2 percent Thursday after the attacks.

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