Iranian authorities arrested 41 people Friday in connection with the twin terror attacks this week, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported, as evidence mounted that Iranian Kurds affiliated with the Islamic State had carried out the assault.
The attackers targeted two symbolically significant places: the Parliament building and the mausoleum of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini-not to be confused with the country’s current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran’s intelligence minister said on Saturday the mastermind behind Wednesday’s attacks in Tehran, which killed 17 people, had been killed by security forces.
“Especially when we see the USA position and the Senate sanctions bill [the same day as the terrorist attacks on Tehran which killed 17 people], all their objectives are revealed”, Larijani said, adding “the enemy’s strategy is to damage Iran’s dignity and busy our authorities with side issues”.
He spoke out at length against Shiites and promised further attacks.
It described the suspects as “agents of Daesh”, an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group, and said they included “operational teams”. The Interior Ministry in a statement increased the number of wounded to 52, up from 40.
On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the language and rejected the condolences on Twitter.
Press TV also stated that Iran’s intelligence forces had neutralized over 25 terrorist cells in the country over the past few months.
The United States “knows that the Revolutionary Guard and its Quds force are the most important regional forces fighting terrorists”, he said.
Crowds gathered on the streets of the Iranian capital to shout slogans against the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel on Friday, while reaching out to touch coffins wrapped in flags and covered in flowers.
On Thursday, the Intelligence Ministry released the pictures and first names of perpetrators of the attacks identifying the five gunmen as Qayyoum, Abu Jihad, Ramin, Serias, and Fereydoun, without announcing their surnames. Sunni Gulf Arab states are in the midst of a major diplomatic crisis after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar on Monday over claims it supports extremism and has fewer tensions with Iran.