Iran blames Sunni extremists, U.S. for deadly mosque bombing

Reporting from Tehran -- Iranian authorities are blaming the United States and Sunni Muslim extremists for the bombing of a mosque Thursday in the country's southeast that left as many as 23 people dead and scores injured during a Shiite Muslim holiday, LAT reported.

The bombing rocked the provincial capital of Zahedan, where emergency vehicles ferried passengers to local hospitals into the night. The ethnically and religiously mixed region bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan has long been the scene of drug trafficking and tribal banditry.

Authorities todayannounced the arrest of three suspects, who allegedly crossed into Iran from the barren desert border with the aim of sowing political and sectarian discord before the June 12 presidential election.

"Evidence shows that these people had direct involvement in the terrorist operation and were linked to enemies outside the borders of the country," said Jalal Sayyah, deputy governor-general of the province of Sistan-Baluchistan, according to a report by the semi-official Fars News Agency. "This group aimed to create religious disputes, intimidate people and undermine elections in the country by their futile action."

Iranian officials offered no evidence today of American involvement, and Washington has strenuously denied previous such allegations.

Members of Iran's Baluch minority, a stateless ethnic group that straddles southeastern Iran, southern Pakistan and Afghanistan, have for years waged an insurgency against the Tehran government, striking targets in and around Zahedan. The Taliban has also infiltrated Baluch regions of Pakistan, especially the major city of Quetta.

Iranian claims of U.S. support for militant groups fighting the central government could undermine the Obama administration's attempts to reach out to the Islamic Republic as a way of resolving long-standing disputes between the two countries, including disagreement over the nature of Iran's nuclear program and Tehran's support for militant groups fighting Israel.

"The hands of America and Israel were undoubtedly involved in this incident," prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told supporters in Tehran. "Although Wahhabis and the infidel and evil Salafists were an accomplice to the crime, they were being led from somewhere else."

Wahhabi and Salafi are puritanical schools of Sunni Islam rooted in Saudi Arabia that inspire Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network, as well as the Taliban and other groups that denounce adherents of Iran's dominant Shiite Islam sect as infidels.

Khatami is a staunch hard-liner unrelated to former President Mohammad Khatami, who is a moderate.

The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization are fighting a worsening Taliban insurgency in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Thursday's bombing was the among the clearest signs yet that the deepening troubles afflicting neighboring South Asia were spilling into Iran.

The attack coincided with major bombings that killed dozens over the last two days in Pakistan and came days after Iran held a high-level summit to discuss drug trafficking and terrorism with Afghan and Pakistani leaders.

Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 23
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 23
Iran increases number of emergency beds in hospitals
Iran increases number of emergency beds in hospitals
Number of people infected with COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 550,000
Number of people infected with COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 550,000
Loading Bars
Latest
U.S. may file antitrust charges against Facebook as soon as November: newspaper
France becomes 2nd EU country with over 1 mln COVID-19 cases, record daily caseloads haunting Europe
Palestinians condemn normalization agreement between Sudan, Israel
New York early voting starts on Saturday, 1st time in its history
McDonald's urges dismissal of Black former franchisees' discrimination lawsuit
Sudan becomes third Arab state to set aside hostilities with Israel this year
Artillery units, command post of Armenian armed forces destroyed as result of airstrikes (VIDEO)
Jeyhun Bayramov met with assistant to President for US National Security Affairs
Military volunteers, equipment of Armenian Armed Forces destroyed in directions of Khojavend, Fuzuli (VİDEO)
UAVs of Azerbaijan do not conduct flight over territory of Armenia - MoD
Azerbaijan has enough armored vehicles in its arsenal, uses them in operational situations - MoD
Information on alleged artillery shelling of Khankendi and Khojavend districts by Azerbaijan - not true
Chairperson, deputy chairperson of US - Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association appeal to US Secretary of State
Yerevan not interested in peace, wants to escalate conflict, make it a regional one, says Azerbaijani's First VP
Information spread by Armenian side on Iran's artillery shelling Azerbaijan’s positions - false
Turkey reduces volume of exports of mining industry
Iran discloses value of exports from Tehran Province
Georgia increases import of ground and instant coffee
Japan plans to recruit astronauts in 2021, first time in 13 yrs
Kazakhstan increases exports to Denmark despite COVID-19
Azerbaijani FM talks Karabakh conflict with US Secretary of State
Azerbaijani Bank of Baku's net profit declines multifold
Member of UK’s House of Lords condemns Armenia’s missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s Ganja
Rejection of UN’s unfair statement – another diplomatic victory for Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani Xalq Bank's income for 9M2020 published
Data on cargo handling from US via Turkish ports for 9M2020 revealed
Azerbaijani soldiers liberate cities, settlements from occupation one after another - First VP
Export of cars from Turkey to Russia down – Trade ministry
Export of cars from Turkey to Turkmenistan drops
Export of cars from Turkey to Tajikistan down
Export of cars from Turkey to Ukraine up – Trade ministry
Armenia attracting mercenaries to occupied territories of Azerbaijan
Targeting Azerbaijani civilians by Armenia - crime, says Uzbek ambassador
Azerbaijani MoD shows footage of liberated Minbashyly village in Jabrayil district (VIDEO)
Cabinet of Ministers bans entry/exit to several Azerbaijani cities and districts
Armenia poses threat to Trans-Caspian International Transport Route
Azerbaijan's Xalq Bank discloses its assets for 9M2020
Payments with foreign cards down in Georgia
Export operations between Azerbaijan and Croatia double
New terminal to be built in Georgia's Poti port
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on damages, following Armenia's attacks
Meeting between Azerbaijani FM and US secretary of state held
Kazakhstan's import from Poland down amid COVID-19
ADB supports Georgia in its COVID-19 fight
Azerbaijan, Latvia keen to increase mutual investments (PHOTO)
Russian president's statement on Karabakh generally suits Azerbaijan - deputy parliament speaker
Armenians threatening to kill French TV channel's journalist (PHOTOS)
ISET-PI thnk-tank updates its real GDP growth forecast for Georgia
Azerbaijan's troops liberate villages in Khojavend, Jabrayil, Zangilan districts
Azerbaijan liberates 4 Gubadli district villages from Armenia's occupation
Georgia to allocate funds for marketing of its wine
EAEU reveals volume of food oil exports to Turkmenistan
Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Countries supports Azerbaijan
Georgia to issue agricultural loans to promote primary production of annual crops
Turkmenistan's Turkmennebit opens tender for purchase of pipes
Uzbekistan to maintain positive GDP growth despite difficult economic conditions
Uzbekistan’s National Bank likely to be backed by gov't, Fitch Ratings says
Azerbaijani people trust their president - First VP Mehriban Aliyeva
Percentage share of Austria in Azerbaijan's total import slightly grows
Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas receives ESG rating in sustainable development
Chairman of US Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association appeals to US Ambassador in Azerbaijan
Surrendered Armenian officer says Karabakh isn't Armenian land
Armenian armed forces' manpower, armored vehicles destroyed, says Azerbaijani MoD (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan itself doing what Minsk Group didn’t - MP
Inflow of funds to Georgia up
Kazakhstan must invest in agriculture technologies oriented towards Kazakh reality
Israel sends humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Uzbek import of cars from Turkey shrinks
Ballistic missile attacks on Gabala and other Azerbaijani cities - vandalism and fascism of Armenian leadership - People's Artist
Volume of nine-month cargo shipment from Germany via Turkish ports revealed
Iran to implement second phase of ring road around Hormoz Island
Turkmengas to buy geophysical equipment via tender
New buses to start serving passengers in Georgian Tbilisi
Deutsche Bank: Brexit trade costs will be 'material' deal or no deal
Metallurgical products import to Uzbekistan to be reduced via metallurgical plant in Tashkent
Stable basic export rate could help boost Iran's exports
Iran to settle all wheat farmers' claims
WB implements new project in Georgia
President Aliyev holds phone conversation with father of National Hero of Azerbaijan Shukur Hamidov
Iran plans to establish trade centers
New company admitted to Baku Stock Exchange
Shukur Hamidov's name will be immortalized in Gubadli district
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 23
Iran increases number of emergency beds in hospitals
Ambassador welcomes liberation of Azerbaijan's Agbend settlement on border with Iran
Turkey hopes for achieving success in Karabakh conflict settlement together with Russia - Erdogan
Putin's comments were response to those taking anti-Azerbaijani position, analyst says
Kazakhstan's postal service operator to buy petrol via tender
Discussions on Karabakh conflict held at UN Security Council 25 years later - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Export of cars to Kyrgyzstan spiked - Turkish Ministry of Trade
Turkmenistan increases fruit imports from EAEU countries
It's incorrect to talk about CSTO's help, while conflict taking place in Karabakh - Russian MFA
Azerbaijan confirms 212 more COVID-19 recoveries
No objective benefit for NATO's open support to any party of Karabakh conflict - Russian expert
Georgia reveals total projected harvest of grapes in 2020
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Armenia carries out eco-terrorism against Azerbaijan
Georgia names number of beneficiaries received discount cards under agro-diesel promotion program
Captured Armenian soldier admits presence of foreign mercenaries in Armenia (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijani media working hard in information space, demonstrating objectivity, accuracy - MP
All news