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Iran Vows Decisive Response to “Terrorists” Over Shrine Attack

By Nigar Bayramli August 15, 2023

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Shah Cheragh Shrine in Shiraz is a sprawling funerary monument and pilgrimage site dating back to the 12th century. / PressTV.ir

The spokesperson for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Ramezan Sharif, has strongly condemned the recent attack on a shrine in southern Iran, emphasizing that Iran is prepared to deliver a resolute response to the “terrorists.”

“The enemy followed multiple objectives in mind with the Shahcheragh terrorist incident. Religious and ethnic divisions and creating a rift between neighboring countries are part of the enemy’s objectives,” Brig Gen Sharif said on August 14, according to Tasnim News Agency

He further asserted that several foreign intelligence services were involved in orchestrating the attack.

The attack on a shrine in the southern city of Shiraz in Fars Province resulted in the deaths of at least two individuals, with eight others sustaining injuries. One assailant has been arrested.

Kazem Mousavi, the head of the Fars Province Justice Department, reported that all arrested suspects are foreign nationals. The primary individual captured at the shrine during initial interrogations is identified as a Tajik national named “Rahmatollah Norozov.”

According to the official, the hideout of the terrorists in Shiraz has also been located.

Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister, Sirojiddin Muhriddin, condemned the attack, acknowledging that he became aware of the involvement of a Tajik citizen in the incident through media reports.

“Until now, Iran has not sent an official request to Tajikistan in connection with the incident. If such a request appears, the two countries’ relevant structures will coordinate their work,” the Tajik news agency Asia-Plus reported on August 15.

Tasnim had previously cited unnamed “sources” claiming that the Islamic State (IS) group had taken responsibility for the attack.

While visiting Shiraz, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that the attack is a “continuation of burning the Quran in Western countries and the desecration of Islam. These are the same people.” 

“This terrorist current, whatever its name is - Daesh [ISIS/Islamic State] or anything else - is organised by a Western network,” he said.

He vowed that Iran’s security agencies will “exact harsh revenge” on the “network” behind the attack. The minister also claimed that such attacks are aimed at “preventing people from loving Islamic sanctities” and then boasted that the number of people visiting shrines has tripled over the past year.

On August 13, President Ebrahim Raisi instructed the Intelligence Ministry and other pertinent intelligence, security, law enforcement, and judicial bodies to “identify and bring them to justice.”

“The attack was the work of the enemies who have become frustrated by the will of the Iranian nation and once again revealed their ugly faces,” he said.

Similarly, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian conveyed via a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that a “painful end awaits the perpetrators, masterminds and accomplices” to the “terrorist attack.”

In October 2022, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting at the same shrine, resulting in 13 fatalities and 30 injuries. Prior to this, the terrorist group had also taken credit for an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in September 2018.

Before these incidents, the ISIS group had claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian parliament in Tehran in June 2017.