Iran Attacks: White House Says 'States That Sponsor Terror Risk Falling Victim to the Evil They Promote'

At least 12 killed in assault on parliament in Tehran and Khomeini's shrine; ISIS claims responsibility, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps blames Saudi Arabia

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Members of Iranian forces take cover during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran, Iran, June 7, 2017.
Members of Iranian forces take cover during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran, Iran, June 7, 2017. Credit: Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS

The White House and the U.S. State Department condemned twin attacks in Tehran on Wednesday that killed at least 12 people and injured 43. A statement released under Donald Trump's name said that "we grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times," adding that "we underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling to the evil they promote."

"We express our condolences to the victims and their families, and send out thoughts and prayers to the people of Iran. The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world," the State Department statement read.

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards blamed Saudi Arabia for the attack. "This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack," said the statement, published by Iranian media.

Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked Iran's parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday morning, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault at the heart of the Islamic Republic, Iranian officials and media said.

ISIS claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building and one body, apparently dead, on the floor. ISIS claimed that five of its fighters broke into the parliament and the shrine, firing assault rifles and launching grenade. The statement added that the "caliphate will not miss a chance to spill the blood" of Shi'ite Muslims in Iran until sharia law is implemented.

The rare attacks were the first claimed by the hardline Sunni Muslim militant group inside in the tightly controlled Shi'ite Muslim country. The Islamic State group has regularly threatened Iran, one of the powers leading the fight against the militants' forces in neighboring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria.

The raids took place at a particularly charged time after Iran's main regional rival Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of backing Tehran and militant groups.

The incident could exacerbate tensions in Iran between newly re-elected President Hassan Rohani, a pragmatist, and his rivals among hardline clerics and the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

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