Iran has accused Israel and the United States of being behind the attack that left at least 95 dead on January 3 near the tomb of Qassem Soleimani, architect of Iranian military operations in the Middle East, whose memorial Iran was commemorating. death four years ago.
“The responsibility for this crime lies with the American and Zionist regimes, and terrorism is only a tool,” Mohammad Jamshidi, a political adviser to the Iranian president, wrote on X.
The State Department in Washington, for its part, deemed any suggestion of the involvement of the United States or Israel “absurd”. “The United States was not involved in any way,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, adding: “We have no reason to believe Israel is involved.” The attack “looks like a terrorist attack, the kind of thing the Islamic State has done in the past,” said a senior US official on condition of anonymity.
Sworn enemy of Iran, Israel has not commented on the attack. “We are focused on the fighting with Hamas,” army spokesperson Daniel Hagari responded to a question.
“Heinous and cowardly act”
The attack, which was not immediately claimed, occurs in a very tense regional context since the start of the conflict in October between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and the day after the elimination of a senior official of the Palestinian Islamist movement in a strike near Beirut.
On January 4, the Iranian government declared a “national day of mourning” after the attack. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised a “severe response” to the attack, an “odious and cowardly” act for President Ebrahim Raïssi who canceled a planned trip to Turkey.
Soldiers stand next to what the Israeli military says is the entrance to a tunnel dug by Hamas militants inside the Al-Shifa hospital complex in Gaza City, November 22, 2023.
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, supported by Tehran, denounced a “terrorist act (…) which seeks to destabilize the security of the Islamic Republic in the service of the agenda of the Zionist entity (Israel)”.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced an attack “shocking in its cruelty and cynicism”, and the Secretary General of the UN, the European Union, France, Germany, Jordan and Saudi Saudi Arabia also condemned the attack. “I condemned this terrorist attack in the strongest terms and I expressed (my) solidarity with the Iranian people,” communicated the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, after a call with the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs , Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
This article is originally published on jeuneafrique.com