Iranian official accuses U.S. of hiring mosque bombers: report
A senior official of Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan on Friday accused the United States of hiring bombers who were behind an deadly explosion in a mosque in the province's capital city of Zahedan, Xinhua reported.
"Three people involved in the terrorist incident have been arrested," Jalal Sayyah, deputy provincial governor of the province near the border with Pakistan, was quoted by Iran's semi- official Fars news agency as saying.
He said that according to the obtained information, the people behind the terrorist act was hired by the United States.
The explosion rocked a crowd mosque in Zahedan, killing 23 people and wounding 125 others so far, according to Fars news agency.
Police were investigating the blast and no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
In the past few years, Iran has often been hit by bombings and armed attacks in its southeastern provinces bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, which the authorities usually blamed on a Sunni rebel group called Jundallah.
Iran also blamed the United States, Britain and some other Western countries behind these attacks, accusing them of destabilizing the Islamic Republic, a charge denied by Washington and London.
Clashes between Iranian security forces and drug smugglers were also frequent on the eastern border areas of Iran, which is located at the crossroad of international drug smuggling from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe.