Iran arrests 'large network' over Ahvaz attack

Attack aftermath Iran president says US wants to cause insecurity

It was the deadliest terror attack inside Iran in almost a decade.

The attack killed at least 25 people nearly half of them members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards.

The massive ceremony started at 8:30 a.m.

The mourners, mostly wearing black, carried pictures of the dead along with banners reading "we will stand to the end" and "no to terrorism".

Two of the men spoke in Arabic about jihad, while the third spoke in Farsi suggesting they were targeting Iranian Revolutionary Guards, according to the recording, released after Saturday's assault on the Guards in the Iranian city of Ahvaz.

The political deputy governor of Khuzestan Province, Ali Hossein Hosseinzadeh, put the death toll from the attack at 25, saying 60 others have been injured.

Speaking before leaving Teheran to attend the annual UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Rouhani accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of providing financial and military support for anti-government ethnic Arab groups in Iran.

Reuters reported that Islamic State's Amaq agency posted a video that purportedly showed three men in a vehicle on their way to the parade.

'We are Muslims, they are kafirs (non-believers),' the man says.

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Earlier in the day, Iran's intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi told the media the security services uncovered a large network of suspects.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, rejected Iran's accusations.

On June 7, 2017 in Tehran, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks on the parliament and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - the first inside Iran claimed by IS.

Any connection to the attack on the military parade was unclear.

Responding to Rohani's accusations, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the BBC that Iran should "look in the mirror" for the causes of the attack, saying that Iran had "oppressed its people for a long time".

The New York Times reported that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said of the attack: "The crime is a continuation of the conspiracy of USA -backed states in the region, which has set itself the goal of creating insecurity in our beloved country". "Therefore, your victory is indeed a victory for the [Iranian] nation and a defeat for the extended front of Iran's enemies", the Leader added.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asked by a Fox News interviewer if the United States played any role in the attack, said: "When you have a security incident at home, blaming others is an enormous mistake".

The father of 4-year-old victim Mohammad Taha lay atop his son's flag-draped coffin sobbing, a public display of grief near the Sarallah Mosque in Ahvaz, the capital of Iran's oil-rich province of Khuzestan.

The "formal incitement against the UAE from within Iran is unfortunate, and has escalated after the Ahvaz attack", Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates Anwar Gargash said.

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