IS attack on Iran Parliament, Khomeini Tomb leaves 12 dead

07 June 2017

An attack by armed militants, claiming to be Islamic State members, on Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of Islamic Republic founder Ayathollah Ruhollah Khomeni left at least a dozen people dead and another 42 wounded in the morning today.

The attackers entered the Iranian national parliament, in the first such assault on the nation's parliament by the Sunni Muslim Muslim extremist grouping, creating panic inside Iran, which is predominately Shiite Muslim.

The attackers took several hours with armed men (some dressed as women) descending on the Parliament building starting around 10:30 am, killing at least one security guard, and wounding and taking some others hostage. Ina standoff lasting about four hours, security forces killed six assailants - four at the Parliament and two at the mausoleum.

The attack comes a day after Saudi Arabia and several Sunni allies moved to isolate Qatar, the one Persian Gulf country that maintains relations with Iran.

Some reports also link the attack to Pakistan-based militant groups.

Meanwhile, one attacker left the Parliament an hour into the siege, then ran around shooting on Tehran's streets before returning to the building whil3eanother assailant blew himself up on the fourth floor as others continued shooting from the windows.

The building has been undergoing renovations intended to enhance security, particularly at the entrance.

The Islamic State terrorist group is battling Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and in Syria, and it views Shiite Muslims as apostates.

The speaker of Parliament, Ali Larijani, said the attack was a ''minor incident,'' with ''some cowardly terrorists'' infiltrating the legislative complex.

The Islamic State released a graphic 24-minute video showing a bloodied man lying on the ground in the Parliament while a gunman in the background shouted, ''Thank God! Do you think that we are going to leave? We will remain here, God willing.''

The assault on the mausoleum - about 10 miles south of Parliament - began shortly before 11 am and lasted for about an hour and a half, state news media reported.

Two assailants entered the west wing of the sprawling mausoleum, which houses the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Mohammed Ali Ansari, the overseer of the mausoleum, said that militants who appeared to have explosives strapped to them ''started shooting blindly and without a target.''

The first terrorist attacks in more than a decade in Tehran came just over two weeks after US President Donald Trump and US ally Saudi Arabia, vowed to isolate Iran.

Iran, however, said the summit meeting in Riyadh was a ploy by Trump to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, while Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif even suggested that Trump was ''milking'' Saudi Arabia.

Many in Iran consider the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as a product of Saudi Arabia. ''ISIS ideologically, financially and logistically is fully supported and sponsored by Saudi Arabia - they are one and the same,'' Hamidreza Taraghi, an analyst with ties to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said.

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