The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Iran, which resulted in the deaths of at least 84 people and injured hundreds more. The attack took place during a memorial ceremony for slain Revolutionary Guards General Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone strike four years ago. The IS group stated that two of its members activated their explosives vests among the crowds gathered for the ceremony, killing 84 people and wounding many more.
Iranian investigators have confirmed that the first blast was the work of a “suicide bomber,” and they believe the trigger for the second explosion was “very probably another suicide bomber”. The attack has been condemned by various world leaders, including Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who vowed a “harsh response” to the perpetrators.
The United States and Israel have rejected any suggestion that they were involved in the deadly blasts, while Iran has blamed its arch-foe Israel for the attacks. The incident has further escalated regional tensions, with Iran-backed armed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen drawing closer together.
Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has spoken about bolstering security along its borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan, identifying “priority points to block along the border” to prevent future infiltrations by militant groups. The attack in Kerman marks the deadliest incident in Iran since the 1979 revolution.