Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for two explosions that rocked a ceremony in Iran, resulting in the tragic deaths of nearly 100 people and leaving many others injured. The incident occurred during a memorial event for the late Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone in 2020.
The first blast, occurring around 2:45 pm, has been confirmed as the result of a “suicide bomber” by investigators, according to the official IRNA news agency. Ongoing investigations suggest that the second explosion, located approximately 700 meters from Soleimani’s grave, was likely caused by another suicide bomber, as reported by an “informed source” cited by IRNA.
The Islamic State released a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks on its affiliated Telegram channels. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has attributed the attacks to the “evil and criminal enemies” of the Islamic republic, vowing a “harsh response.”
Mohammad Jamshidi, President Ebrahim Raisi’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, and Esmail Qaani, the current Quds Force commander, have suggested their belief that the recent attack in Kerman, Iran, was orchestrated by the United States and Israel. Jamshidi specifically mentioned that terrorism is viewed as a tool in this context.
However, Ali Vaez, Iran project director at the International Crisis Group, pointed out that the attack doesn’t seem to follow the typical pattern of Israeli covert operations in Iran, which have previously targeted officials and nuclear scientists. Vaez suggested that the characteristics of the attack align more with methods associated with the Islamic State (IS).
The international community watches closely as Iran grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, and the Iranian leadership contemplates its response to what they perceive as a heinous act orchestrated by external forces. The situation continues to develop, and further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.