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Iran’s Raisi links ‘riots’ to Shiraz shrine attack

Iran’s President Raisi has promised a “severe response” following the Shiraz shrine attack, in an apparent attempt to link it to ongoing anti-government protests.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has said the “riots” pave the way for “terrorist” attacks, a day after ISIL (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on a shrine in the southern city of Shiraz.

“The enemy’s intention is to disrupt the country’s progress, and then these riots prepare the ground for terrorist acts,” he said in televised remarks on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to link the shrine attack to ongoing anti-government protests in the country. .

At least 15 people were killed in an attack on a major Shiite Muslim shrine in Shiraz on Wednesday, according to official media.

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State television said it was carried out by an armed attacker during evening prayers at the Shah Cheragh shrine, injuring at least 19 people.

The assailant was a man “in his 30s” who had been detained by security forces, authorities said.

ISIL, which once controlled vast swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, has claimed responsibility for previous violence in Iran, including the deadly twin attacks in 2017 that targeted the parliament and the tomb of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The commander of the country’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Iran would retaliate.

“We firmly declare: the fire of revenge from the people of Iran will finally reach them and punish them for their shameful deeds,” Hossein Salami was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Wednesday.

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Raisi also promised “a severe response” and condemned “Iran’s enemies” who try to “split the nation’s united ranks… through violence and terror.”

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The sentiment was shared by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who called for unity after the shrine attack and said those behind it “will surely be punished,” state television reported.

“We all have a duty to deal with the enemy and his treacherous or ignorant agents. The security forces, the judiciary, the activists in the field of thought… and the people must be united against… the disregard for the life, safety and sanctity of the people,” Khamenei said in a statement. read on state television.

riots in iran

The attack on the shrine came as thousands of people paid tribute to Mahsa Amini, 40 days after his death in police custody.

Dozens of people, mainly protesters but also members of the security forces, have been killed during the riots triggered by the death of the 22-year-old on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code. Code for women.

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Hundreds of people, including women, have been arrested.

Iran’s judiciary has charged more than 1,000 people arrested in connection with the protests.

At least four were charged with a crime that can carry the death penalty, while others have been charged with “acting against the country’s security,” “propaganda” against the government, and “assaulting security forces.” ”.

Authorities had said that hundreds of people who were not involved in the “riots” had been released.

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