Iran summons UK, Dutch and Danish envoys over attack on military parade

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a military parade in Tehran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a military parade in Tehran

A general view shows an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran, in this September 22, 2018 photo by ISNA. A statement on the Amaq news agency, which is used by IS as a mouthpiece, claimed the group was behind the attack, though this has not been verified.

Iranian state media has not mentioned the new ISIS claims, preferring to focus on the official state narrative which blames the USA for the attacks.

Dozens of people, including women and children, were killed in an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday.

Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, also claimed responsibility.

Neither group provided evidence to show they were involved.

In Tehran, Rouhani watched a military parade that included ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel and US military bases in the Mideast.

"We will never decrease our defensive capabilities. we will increase them day by day", Rouhani said.

"The individuals who fired at the people and the armed forces during the parade are connected to the al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia", Sharif said.

"It is expected that (the Danish and Dutch) governments hand over the perpetrators of this attack and anyone related to them to Iran for a fair trial", he added. In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack by Sunni extremists in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan province. The two nations have not had formal diplomatic relations since 1980.

The US has accused Iran of running a clandestine nuclear weapons programme, which Iran denies.

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However, ties deteriorated after Mr Trump took office and then withdrew from the nuclear deal. "Iran is not the place for such [terrorist] activities".

The accusation will nearly certainly antagonise Iran's regional foe Saudi Arabia.

State media in Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the attack, though a Saudi-linked, Farsi-language satellite channel based in the United Kingdom immediately carried an interview with an Ahvazi activist claiming Saturday's attack.

Mr Trump is chairing a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday - and says the meeting will be focused on Iran.

Arab separatists have carried out a low-level insurgency in recent years that has seen gunmen attacks on security forces and bombings.

The acting commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said at the funeral that the Islamic Republic would "take revenge" against the USA and some of its biggest regional allies over the violence. He did not name the regional states he believed were to blame.

Iran has long-standing tensions with Israel - considering it an illegitimate occupier of Muslim land - and has accused it of attempting to undermine the government.

A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, however, alleged that the attackers were separatists backed by Saudia Arabia, Iran's regional archrival.

Iran in response summoned diplomats from Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain to complain about them "hosting some members of the terrorist group" and "double standards in fighting terrorism", the foreign affairs ministry said.

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