ISIS claimed responsibility for the twin attacks on Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb in Tehran and at the Iranian parliament. Both attacks were considered as the first major terrorist assault on Iranian soil.
State media reported that at least 12 people died from the attacks. 42 others were injured in these unprecedented and rare attacks on Iran’s capital. The attacks lasted for five hours. The Revolutionary Guard of Iran blamed the attack on Saudi Arabia, its regional rival.
The four gunmen interrupted Iranian parliament’s session, all wielding Kalashnikov rifles. They stormed the building on Wednesday and detonated a type of suicide bomb. Staff members and politicians remained trapped inside. Four or more people were taken as hostages according to Tasnim news agency.
Amaq released a short clip that was filmed by one of the assailants. The clip featured the body of a dead or injured man who was wearing business attire. The man was lying motionless on the floor. The clip also showed a man with a rifle walking past the body.
The fighters were shouting in Arabic as opposed to Farsi when the alarms went off and gunshots were fired. In the background, one of the gunmen can be heard shouting a slogan that was popularized by Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, an ISIS spokesperson, who was killed last year in Syria.
Sporadic gunfire can be heard while security swarmed around the entrance of an office. The Interior Ministry announced that the four terrorists were killed on Wednesday afternoon.
Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari, the deputy Interior Minister of Iran, said that security forces managed to contain and surround the attackers. The attackers, according to Zolfaghari, entered the main gate of the Parliament dressed as women before opening fire in the building. Security forces and the gunmen had a standoff before the four attackers were shot dead.
A security guard died from the suicide bombing outside Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s tomb. Khomeini was the 1979 Islamic revolution leader. His shrine was attacked by at least four gunmen.
“Several coward terrorists have infiltrated the Parliament. Fortunately, they were confronted. From what I can see, it wasn’t a huge issue. The security forces of Iran took necessary steps,” said Ali Larijani, the parliament speaker, in a session broadcasted live by the state TV.
The intelligence ministry announced that security forces arrested another team of terrorists that planned to conduct a third attack. The ministry refused to give any further details regarding that report.
ISIS is currently at war with the forces that are backed by Iran in Iraq and Syria. ISIS also believes Shia Islam is heretical.
The Intelligence Ministry is calling on everyone to be vigilant. Any suspicious movement must be reported to officials immediately. Attacks in Tehran are rare as well as in Iran’s other major cities. Still, Sunni militant groups have waged a deadly insurgency in the remote areas of Iran.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, told reporters that the attacks in the country will only strengthen the nation’s resolve to fight against terrorism.