At least 95 killed in bomb explosion in Iran during ceremony honoring prominent general slain by the U.S. in 2020 – NaturalNews.com
Written by GRB on 06/01/2024
At least 95 killed in bomb explosion in Iran during ceremony honoring prominent general slain by the U.S. in 2020
At least 95 people were killed in Iran after two bombs exploded minutes apart at a commemoration for a prominent Iranian general killed by the United States in a 2020 drone strike. The incident occurred at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3 in the city of Kerman in southeastern Iran.
The bombs exploded 20 minutes apart and shook Kerman, with the second blast causing the most casualties as it sprayed massive amounts of shrapnel and explosion debris into a crowd that was already in a panic from fleeing the first explosion.
The bombings happened during a gathering in Kerman marking the fourth anniversary of the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ special forces division, the Quds Force, in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad while Soleimani was on his way to meet the Iraqi prime minister.
Soleimani was buried in a cemetery in Kerman. Iranian state television reported that the event commemorating the fourth anniversary of his assassination was very crowded. The two bombs were planted along the road leading to Kerman’s cemetery, and state officials claim the bombs were detonated remotely.
Initial government death tolls claimed there were 103 deaths. This number was later revised down to 95. At least 211 others have been injured. Iranian Minister of Health Bahram Eynollahi noted that many of the wounded were in critical condition, so the death toll could rise.
A senior official in the White House claims that the blasts appear to represent a sophisticated “terrorist attack” of the type usually carried out by militants aligned with the Islamic State. The Kerman bombing represents the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the Islamic Republic.
Iran blames Israel for the bombings
The twin bombings in Kerman came amidst heightened tensions in the Middle East, especially between Iran and Israel following the latter’s decision to invade Gaza and indiscriminately kill Palestinians. (Related: Defense officials warn: Iran could use Israel-Palestine chaos as an “opportunity” to attack American forces all over the Middle East.)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi condemned the “heinous and inhumane crime” and warned “the Zionist regime” in Israel that it will “pay the price for this crime and other crimes” Israel has committed, referencing the country’s ongoing campaign in Gaza that has killed over 20,000 people, mostly women and children.
Without specifically naming the parties responsible, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vowed revenge and a “harsh response” against the “evil and criminal elements” responsible for the attack.
“Cruel criminals … must know that they will be strongly dealt with from now on and … undoubtedly there will be a harsh response,” said Khamenei in a statement circulated by state media.
Other high-ranking Iranian government figures have blamed Israel for the bombings. Gen. Esmail Qaani, the person who succeeded Soleimani as commander of the Quds Force, has similarly blamed Israel, claiming that the attacks were carried out by “the agents of the Zionist regime and the United States.”
Mohammad Jamshidi, Deputy Chief of Staff for Political Affairs to the President, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Washington says U.S.A. and Israel had no role in terrorist attack in Kerman, Iran. Really? A fox smells its own lair first.”
“Make no mistake. The responsibility for this crime lies with the U.S. and Zionist regimes, and terrorism is just a tool,” he added.
Many Iranians may also believe that Israel or the U.S. were involved. State TV showed a clip of crowds gathered at the cemetery mere hours after the bombings in protest while chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller has rejected Iran’s claims that it or its close ally Israel were involved.
“The United States was not involved in any way,” said Miller. “We have no reason to believe that Israel was involved in this explosion.”
Israel has carried out illegal attacks on Iranians and over Iranian soil in the past, mostly through targeted assassinations rather than mass casualty bombings.
Watch this video of political commentator Caleb Maupin describing the attack in Iran as a “horrendous terrorist attack.”
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