Iran blames “foreign source” for bombing, Clinton condemns as “terrorism”

A bomb blast today in Iran’s restive northwest killed at least 12 people and injured more than 70 others, according to multiple news reports. The explosion in Mahabad occurred during a military parade celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war’s start. Two military leaders’ wives are reported among the dead, as is at least one child. No military officials or dignitaries, who were on a podium 50 meters away, were injured.

The L.A. Times is carrying an Associated Press video showing the bombing and its aftermath:

Iranian officials reacted quickly to the bombing, hinting that Kurdish militant groups, active in the region, were behind the attack, and that “foreign sources” may be supporting them — almost certainly a nod to alleged U.S. backing for anti-regime and other separatist groups in Iran. A foreign ministry spokesman blamed the attack on the “Zionist regime” (Israel) and it’s supporters, adding that it was a reaction to Iran’s strong showing on the international stage with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York for the UN General Assembly.

The U.S. State Department, however, quickly released a statement condemning the attacks as a form of terrorism — the same language used by Iranian officials to describe the incident. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “the perpetrators of this attack should be brought to justice and held accountable.” Her full statement is below:

Explosion in Mahabad, Iran

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 22, 2010

I condemn the bombing targeting Iranians attending a parade in Mahabad today and offer my sympathy to the families and loved ones of those injured and killed. The perpetrators of this attack should be brought to justice and held accountable.

The United States condemns terrorism and all forms of violence against innocent people, wherever it occurs, and stands with the victims of these crimes. This attack underscores the international community’s need to work together to combat terrorism that threatens the lives of innocent civilians all around the world.
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Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.

One Comment

  1. Don’t think Israel was the culprit; more likely this is a result of the internal destabilization program instituted by Bush-Cheney, and to my knowledge continued by the current administration, though with a lower level of U.S. support. Is Secy. Clinton unaware of this program (or that it continues)? Or is she being Machiavellian in sympathizing with Iran and condemning the attackers we ourselves have armed? Do Obama and Clinton believe we are out of the terror business inside Iran? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    In any case, Clinton’s message was welcome, and provides more evidence that a U.S.-Iranian sit down is coming.

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