ISIS claims responsibility for recent twin explosions in Iran

The Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the deadly twin blasts close to the burial site of slain military commander Qasem Soleimani in southern Iran on Wednesday (January 3, 2024).

ISIS media wing Al-Furqan issued a statement on Thursday – more than 24 hours after the explosions – claiming two suicide bombers, who are brothers, had detonated their explosive vests as Shiite mourners gathered for the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Soleimani near his grave in his hometown of Kerman, reported CNN.

The statement, titled “And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them”, named the two bombers and said they targeted a gathering of “polytheists” near the grave of their “dead leader” Soleimani, the American news channel reported.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed a tough response and punishment to both the perpetrators and organisers of the terrorist attack in the city of Kerman, which killed nearly 100 people, media reports said.

A total of 95 people were killed and 211 others were wounded by two explosions at Iranian General Qasem Soleimani’s memorial site in Kerman, during a ceremony marking the fourth anniversary of his assassination by US forces.

“Both the hands stained with the blood of innocent people and the corrupt, evil minds that led them to this miscalculation will definitely be the target of a severe pounding and a deserving retribution,” Khamenei said in a statement posted on his website as quoted by Sputnik news agency.

“They should know that, God willing, this tragedy will be met with a strong response.”

The Iranian government declared Thursday (January 4, 2024) a day of national mourning for the victims, and the country’s President Ebrahim Raisi said the masterminds and perpetrators of the terrorist attack would be identified by security forces and law enforcement agencies and brought to account.

Soleimani, who commanded the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.

Washington claimed he had been involved in organising the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad on December 31, 2019. In response, Iran launched strikes on US bases in Iraq, including the al-Asad Airbase.