Pakistan denounces attack on Iranian military parade

Report: Several dead, dozens wounded after unknown gunmen attack military parade in Iran

Report: Several dead, dozens wounded after unknown gunmen attack military parade in Iran

The Gulf Arab state of Qatar, a rival of USA allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, condemned the assault on the military parade, which wounded at least 70 people.

"America wants to cause chaos and unrest in our country so that it can return to this country, but these are unreal fantasies and they will never achieve their goals", Rouhani said. "It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes", Rouhani said before leaving for the U.N. General Assembly in NY.

The president of Iran has labelled the USA a "bully" after an attack on a military parade where at least 29 people were killed. Images captured by state television showed journalists and onlookers turn to look toward the first shots, then the rows of marchers broke as soldiers and civilians sought cover under sustained gunfire.

A spokesman for the Ahvaz National Resistance, an umbrella group that claims to defend the rights of the Arab minority in Khuzestan, said the group was behind the attack.

On Sunday morning, Iran summoned diplomats from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark, accusing them of harbouring Iranian opposition groups.

Who does Iran blame for the attack?

"Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defence of Iranian lives", Zarif vowed, adding "children and journos" were "among casualties".

Four militants attacked a parade commemorating the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, capital of the border province of Khuzestan.

"There are a number of non-military victims, including women and children who had come to watch the parade", state news IRNA agency quoted an unnamed official source as saying. It said gunmen wore Guard uniforms and targeted a riser where military and police commanders were sitting.

Iran's leaders have blamed the attack on the United States.

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The Trump administration has said that changing Iran's system of government is not U.S. policy.

Scott Lucas, an Iran specialist at Birmingham University in Britain and editor of the EA World View website, tells RFE/RL that Tehran's blaming of regional foes and the United States for domestic unrest is not new, while adding that it is "accentuated now by USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal, imminence of comprehensive sanctions, and worsening of the Iranian economy".

Initially, authorities described the assailants as "takfiri gunmen", a term previously used to describe the Islamic State group. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against IS in Iraq and has aided Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's long civil war.

Arab separatists have carried out a low-level insurgency in recent years that has seen gunmen attacks on security forces and bombings.

Qassemi pointed to a bloody terrorist attack in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, saying that the U.S. made baseless allegations against Iran while the Islamic Republic is one of the main victims of acts of terror by terrorist groups. 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 also warned the United Arab Emirates over "offensive remarks" attributed to a UAE "political adviser" following the attack.

The shooting lasted for about 10 minutes.

The Leader said the "tragic and sorrowful" incident in Ahvaz and the killing of people by mercenary terrorists once again exposed the cruelty of the enemies of the Iranian nation.

Among them is 4-year-old Mohammad Taha, who was captured by a photographer being carried away from the attack by a Guardsman in full dress uniform and sash.

The so-called Islamic State and the separatist Arab-Sunni group Al-Ahvazieh have both claimed responsibility for the attack. Those dignitaries were not harmed in the attack, it said.

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