- Iran will not be complacent after a shrine attack killed 15 people.
- The attack is condemned by Pakistan’s foreign office spokeswoman.
- The attack will put additional pressure on Iran’s authorities.
Iran will not keep mute in the aftermath of a shrine attack that killed 15 people and was designed to destabilise the country, the country’s foreign minister warned on Thursday.
The Daesh-claimed assault will put more pressure on the administration, which has already faced incessant protests from members of all walks of life since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in police custody on September 16.
According to Iranian officials, an assailant who attacked the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz has been apprehended. According to state media, the “takfiri terrorists,” as Tehran refers to armed groups such as Daesh, were to blame.
“We will absolutely not allow terrorists and foreign meddlers who purport to defend human rights toy with Iran’s national security and interests,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a statement broadcast by state media.
“This atrocity exposed the terrible motivations of people who embrace terrorism and violence in Iran. According to reliable intelligence, the opponents have devised a multi-pronged strategy to weaken Iran’s security.”
Prior acts of violence in Iran have been blamed by Daesh, most notably the deadly twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s shrine in 2017.
The killing of pilgrims occurred on the same day as Iranian security forces engaged in conflict with increasingly louder demonstrators to mark the 40th anniversary of Amini’s death.
The protests have emerged as one of the most brazen threats to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution, with many Iranians coming to the streets and some calling for the overthrow and demise of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Two young men were reportedly killed by police during protests in Iran’s major towns on Wednesday, including Mahabad in the northwest and Sanandaj, the Kurdistan region’s capital.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead a member of the Revolutionary Guards and a member of the Bassij militia in Zahedan, the capital of the troubled Sistan-Baluchistan province, which has seen periodic rallies by Iran’s Baluch minority. They were to be buried on Thursday, according to state media.
While the government have accused the United States and other Western countries of encouraging “riots,” state media has reported that approximately 30 security forces members have been killed.
According to the activist news organisation HRANA, 36 minors were among the 252 people killed during the violence.
Protests were held in 122 cities and towns, as well as 109 universities, according to the report, and 30 members of the security forces were killed, with over 13,800 people jailed as of Wednesday.
According to state media, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi claimed that the Shiraz incident was made possible by the country’s ongoing protests, and President Ebrahim Raisi pledged reprisal.
CCTV footage released on state television on Thursday showed the gunman approaching the temple while hiding an assault rifle in a backpack, then starting fire as pilgrims hurried to flee and seek cover in corridors.
After being shot and hurt, he was taken into custody by the police. According to official media, he was not Iranian, although they did not say where he came from.
Authorities in the southern province of Fars have proclaimed three days of mourning in the aftermath of the incident in the provincial capital of Shiraz.
While condemning the terrorist incident, a Foreign Office spokesman extended sorrow to Iranians who had lost loved ones. In a statement, Pakistan expressed its solidarity for those affected and wished them a “swift recovery.”