In what was one of the bloodiest assaults to happen in Iran gunmen who were disguised as soldiers made their move at an annual Iranian military parade that took place Saturday. At least 25 people lost their lives and no less than 53 were wounded as the gunmen fired indiscriminately at a crowd of marching Revolutionary Guardsmen, bystanders, and government officials who were watching the annual military parade from a nearby riser. Due to their history of attacks on unguarded oil pipelines the first group who were suspected of being responsible for the attack that victimized so many people were Arab separatists who reside in the region.
The Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif was quick to point the finger as he immediately blamed the attacks on countries in the regions and their “U.S. masters” as he referred to Americans while labelling the gunmen who were responsible for the carnage that occured today as “terrorists recruited, trained armed and paid” by foreign powers. While I am not in a position to try to say whether or not the United States is responsible in any for the attack that took place today, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the suspicion of U.S. involvement increases the level of tension that already exists between the two countries. Tensions have run high between the United States and Iran ever since the U.S. has removed itself from the nuclear deal that former Secretary of State John Kerry helped negotiate between Iran and other world leaders while the Obama administration was in control of the White House.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took his feelings regarding the attack that took place earlier today to twitter when he tweeted, “Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives.” One does not have to be Iranian to empathize with the passionate anger that he felt about the attack that took the lives of at least 25 people today. Any American who is old enough to remember 9/11 should be able to understand the anger that comes from seeing your own people killed and attacked by an enemy while those who are supposed to keep them safe are powerless to do anything in the heat of the moment.
Video that was captured by state television showed scenes of journalists and several onlookers respond when the sound of gunshots was first heard and as the immediate realization of what was going on hit all of them the rows of marchers quickly divided as soldiers and civilians tried to escape the carnage with their lives intact as they sought to take cover under the indiscriminate gunfire that came from the gunmen responsible for todays chaos. In the middle of the chaos as it was taking place one man can be heard yelling at woman who was desperate to escape with her life and the life of her child as he called out to her, “Oh God! Go go go! Lie down! Lie down!”
Paramedics and other first responders tended to the wounded soldiers in the aftermath of todays attack. Some soldiers who were injured in their dress uniforms tried to help their wounded friends and colleagues to the ambulances where they could be treated for their injuries. In the immediate moments after the attack took place there was a lot of confusion and details were unclear. One news source reported that two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms were responsible for the attack. Another news source reported that two gunmen who were responsible for the attack were killed on the scene while two more were arrested. It was not until hours later that state TV reported an official story informing the people of Iran that all four gunmen had been killed, three of them dying at the scene of the attack while the fourth member of the group responsible for the attack died later at the hospital.
Adding even more to the confusion that took place in the immediate aftermath of todays attack was the fact that in the moments immediately following the attack who carried out the attack was in question. Hours after the attack took place both state media and government officials were in agreement that Arab separatist in the region were responsible row what happened at the military parade. The separatists accuse Iran’s Shiite theocracy of discriminating against its Sunni Arab citizens. Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding their activity. State media in Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the attack.