Pompeo: Trump willing to meet Iran's Rouhani at United Nations this week

Military trucks burn outside the Iranian consulate in southern Iraq

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday placed blame for a terrorist attack at a parade in southwestern Iran on a USA -backed Persian Gulf state, and said he planned to "confront" the US over tensions between the two countries at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly this week in NY.

Rouhani's remarks in Tehran Sunday before leaving for NY to attend the UN General Assembly came a day after terrorists attacked a military parade in Ahvaz in southwest Iran, killing 25 people.

President Hassan Rouhani accused the USA of inciting an unnamed ally in the Persian Gulf to carry out the attack Saturday in the south-western city of Ahvaz, in which four gunmen disguised in military garb opened fire and kill 12 Revolutionary Guardsmen as well as a number of spectators.

Rouhani also said the U.S. is provoking regional states against Iran, citing the terrorist attack in Ahvaz, which also left scores of people, including women and children, injured. In exchange, some worldwide sanctions were lifted, allowing Iran to rejoin the global financial system and sell its crude oil to American allies.

"Iran's answer (to this attack) is forthcoming within the framework of law and our national interests", said Mr Rouhani, adding that the United States would regret its "aggressiveness".

State television gave a toll of 29 dead and 57 wounded, while official news agency IRNA said those killed included women and children who were spectators at the parade.

Two groups have claimed responsibility for the Ahvaz attack - but neither has provided any evidence.

"They are not from Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or other groups fighting [Iran's] Islamic system. but are linked to America and [Israel's intelligence agency] Mossad".

"The small puppet countries in the region are backed by the USA and it's the US that provokes them".

Mostafa Koshcheshm, a Tehran-based political commentator and journalist, told Al Jazeera that the al-Ahvaziya movement had been "nurtured, supported, and trained by Saudi Arabia". It was not immediately clear if this remark referred to the United States withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal or to the Ahvaz attack.

The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen also expressed their "solidarity" with Tehran, which is a major backer of the group.

The attack occurred a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani heads to NY to address the annual United Nations General Assembly next week. They talk of war with Iran as inevitable, and dream of drawing America into such a war to even up the odds.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp has been the sword and shield of Shi'ite clerical rule in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A soldier runs past injured comrades at the scene of an attack on a military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak its 1980-1988 war with Iraq.

"This crime is a continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States, and their goal is to create insecurity in our dear country", Khamenei said in a statement published on his website.

Up to a million people were killed, a lot of them Iranian, but the only direct U.S. support was to give Saddam's forces intelligence and targeting information for their attacks. United Nations inspectors say Iran is still complying with the deal, which saw it limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Ahvaz is in the center of Khuzestan province, where there have been sporadic protests by the Arab minority.

The Iraqi border crossing authority said Saturday that the Iranian side was temporarily closing al-Sheeb and al-Shalamcha crossings between the two countries after the attack.

The attack left at least eight members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guard dead and 20 others wounded, local media reported.



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