Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has blamed the bombing of Martyrs Hossenieh mosque in Shiraz on terrorist groups with ties to US and Britain. A powerful bomb shattered the mosque on 12 April, killing 12 people and injuring more than 200 people.
“The blast was caused by a bombing by a terrorist group with links to Western countries, especially Britain and America,” said Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei [ISNA].
The ministry also announced the arrest of “five to six” armed individuals in connection with the attack. The leader of the group was supposedly trying to leave Iran from a northern border post, presumably Astara.
Iran’s Interior Minister today blamed “monarchists” for the attack. The term is used to describe the followers of the former regime in Iran.
“The Shiraz blast was a terrorist act committed by the so-called loyalists,” said the Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi [Fars News Agency].
The bomb exploded during a sermon by Hojatoleslam Anjavinejad, the executive secretary of Friday Prayers Organization of Fars province. Anjavinejad is a cleric popular with young religious crowds and his sermons typically contain attacks on Wahabis, the fundamentalist Sunni sect. At the time of the blast, Anjavinejad was addressing the youths affiliated with Rahpouyan Vesal-e Shiraz organization.
Immediately after the blast, the Ministry of Intelligence and the local authorities said there were no bombs and the blast was an accident caused by the explosion of ammunition left over in the mosque from a recent military exhibition. Iran analysts discounted the explanation.
Now they are blaming the blast on loyalists with links to US. With no details made public, it is as difficult to accept the new explanation at its face value. What is clear, however, is that a terrorist group has bombed the mosque and has killed and injured innocent people.