Death Toll In Tehran Attack Rises; Iranian Official Calls US Response 'Repugnant'

A ministry statement issued Thursday said the men had left Iran to fight for the extremist group in Mosul, Iraq, as well as Raqqa, Syria - the group's de facto capital.

Separately, the deputy chief of the Guards' Intelligence Service, Mohammad Hossein Nejat, told the Fars news agency that the men who attacked the parliament building in Tehran were aged between 20 and 25. Profile pictures of corpses and their names were released but their surnames have been kept a secret due to security and privacy concerns for their families.

It's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday's attacks were backed by various governments, without specifying.

The attack killed 17 people and injured over 40 in what was considered a "rare attack" on Iranian soil.

Iran says the attackers, all of whom were killed, were Iranians who had joined IS.

That statement of solidarity with the victims was notable because of the deep distrust between the US and Iran.

"Repugnant WH (White House) statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by USA clients".

That was condemned by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted: "Repugnant WH (White House) statement".

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A two-person team, including one woman, launched a near simultaneous attack against Ayatollah Khomeini's enormous tomb complex in the south of the city.

The attacks come amid heightened tension in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states cutting ties with Qatar over alleged support for Islamist militants and closer ties with Iran.

Despite the attacks, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate pushed ahead on a new set of sanctions against Iran. They never named the country directly, but the implication was clear.

Iran's hint that it may hold Saudi Arabia responsible for the violence in Tehran risked an escalation of the feud that's divided the oil-rich Gulf region into increasingly hostile camps. He told a group of students that if "Iran had not resisted", it would have faced even more troubles.

On Wednesday, armed attackers targeted both the Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran. The revered shrine was not damaged.

The website of independent Shargh daily quoted Reza Seifollahi, an official in the country's Supreme National Security Council, as saying the attackers were from Iran.

Iran blamed the Wednesday attacks on Saudi Arabia, casting them in the context of a broader regional conflict that encompasses the war inside Syria.

  • Megan Austin