Iran threatens Saudi Arabia after Iran parade attack
Iran’s relations with its Gulf neighbors such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with the United States, are tense after a terrorist attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on Sunday left at least 25 people dead. Both the “Islamic State” (IS) and Arab separatists groups in Iran have claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Iranian government pointed fingers at its regional rivals, the Saudis and the UAE, as well as at the US for backing the attackers. “Based on reports, this cowardly act was done by the people who are rescued by the Americans when they are in trouble in Syria and Iraq, and are paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Monday on his official website. The same day the deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard warned the US and Israel, a close American ally and Iran’s perpetual enemy, on Monday that they should expect a “devastating response” from the Islamic Republic.
So far Saudis have responded to Iran’s announcement with silence while the UAE’s foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, tweeted “formal incitement against the UAE from within Iran is unfortunate, and has escalated after the Ahvaz attack.” “Tehran’s allegations are baseless,” he added. The US responded by saying that Iran “should look in the mirror.”
Terrorist attack on a national holiday
Holly Dagres, an Iran expert and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, told DW that the terrorist attack on the military parade was a “big deal” for the Iranians, as the celebration marked the start of the bloody Iran-Iraq war that lasted from 1980 through 1988.
“This was essentially Iran’s Memorial Day, with parades happening all around the country,” she said. “In Ahvaz, the parade wasn’t just attended by members of the army and the Iranian Revolutonary Guard, but also by veterans of the war, as well as families with young children.”
Dagres said that Iran’s threats made against its Gulf neighbors and the US seem to be a case of saber rattling. “Tehran isn’t in a position to make good on its threats in lieu of the pressure resulting from the United States reimposing sanctions,” she said, adding that the goal is to show that “the Iranian government is in a position of strength after the Ahvaz terrorist attacks.”
Read More at: DW
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