US, Saudis accused of supporting attacks


Iran's Intelligence Ministry said on Thursday five of the attackers were Iranian nationals recruited by Islamic State who had fought in the militants' main strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

In a condolence message read to mourners ahead of a funeral for the victims of Wednesday's attack that killed 17 and wounded scores, Khamenei blasted leaders in Washington and Riyadh.

Iranian reformists and opposition groups are anxious that hard-liners may use this week's Islamic State-claimed twin terror attacks to press leadership in Tehran to crack down on social media and renege on election promises of freedoms and reforms.

Larijani also criticized a Wednesday decision by the U.S. Senate to move forward on a new set of sanctions against Iran, including its elite Revolutionary Guards, a move that came on the same day as the Tehran attacks.

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ISIS struck at the bisected heart of Iran's Islamic Republic, with attacks on both the mausoleum of the revolution's leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and its parliament building, a key institution of the bureaucratic state and a symbol of Iranians' century-long struggle for representative and accountable governance.

Newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani has said the attacks will make Iran more united. The attack rippled through the Iranian fabric and shattered the regime's veneer of security and control, analysts say.

Saudi Arabia has denied responsibility for the attacks.

Iranian-backed militants are fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

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But Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Thursday that "we still can not judge that Saudi Arabia has had a role in this terrorist incident".

"One of their brothers who was more risky than them fell into the hands of the intelligence services and has been arrested", the intelligence minister said in a televised press conference of the five gunmen. However, he added: "Many planned attacks by Daesh have been foiled by our security forces in the past years".

"The attacks showed the vulnerability of our security system, at the borders and within Iran", the official said, asking not to be named. He spoke out at length against Shiites and promised further attacks.

"It is astounding what Iran continues to do around the world", said Corker, urging his colleagues to confront the threat Tehran poses.

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"Iranian people reject such US claims of friendship", Zarif tweeted. Saudi Arabia's response seemed to come in an arms deal with Washington - put at up to $350 billion over ten years - and talk of an Arab version of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but neither an arms build-up nor steamy rhetoric preclude talks.