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Iran To Respond To The Attack On Shiite Shrine, Vows Foreign Affairs Minister

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The attack on a Shiite shrine that claimed 15 lives and was designed to destabilize Iran would not go without retaliation, said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

An assailant who attacked the Shah Cheragh shrine in the city of Shiraz has been detained, according to Iranian officials. The “takfiri terrorists,” as Tehran refers to hardline Sunni Muslim militants like Islamic State, were accused, according to state media.

Amirabdollahian in a statement shown by state media, said, “We will certainly not allow Iran’s national security and interests to be toyed with by terrorists and foreign meddlers who claim to defend human rights.”  “This crime made the sinister intentions of the promoters of terror and violence in Iran completely clear. There is reliable information that the enemies have drawn up a multi-layered project to make Iran insecure,” he added. 

According to state media, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi claimed that the Shiraz incident was made possible by the widespread protests in Iran, and President Ebrahim Raisi promised a retaliation.

CCTV footage that was aired on state television on Thursday showed the assailant approaching the shrine while concealing an assault rifle in a backpack, then opening fire as worshipers rushed to run and shelter in hallways.

The attack, claimed by the militant group Islamic State (IS), which operates in Iraq and Syria, will prove as another tension for the government which has witnessed protests by people from all areas of society since the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, on September 16.

The IS has earlier claimed dual attacks in 2017, one on the parliament and the other on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the first supreme leader of the Islamic Republic. 

The attack on the Shiite shrine came at the same day on Wednesday when the security forces conflicted with the protestors in what completed 40 days since the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. 

With many Iranians taking to the streets and some asking for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the demise of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the protests have emerged as one of the most audacious threats to clerical rule since the 1979 revolution.

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