IS admits: Very unusual in Iran: terrorist attack on a holy site claims at least 15 lives

According to state media, at least 15 people were killed in a terrorist attack in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.

IS admits: Very unusual in Iran: terrorist attack on a holy site claims at least 15 lives

According to state media, at least 15 people were killed in a terrorist attack in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. Dozens of other people are said to have been injured in the attack on Wednesday at the Shiite shrine of Shah Cheragh, Iranian state television reported. The terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack on a Telegram channel.

"A terrorist" attacked the mausoleum of Shah Cheragh, said the head of the local judicial authorities, Kasem Mousavi. An IS member shot at visitors to the mausoleum, state television said. A man with "connections to 'Takfiri' groups" was arrested. The term "Takfiri" is used by the Iranian authorities to refer to Sunni jihadists. According to the governor responsible for Shiraz, Mohammad-Hadi Imanieh, the attacker shot "blindly at the believers". According to Iranian state television, security forces injured the man, who required surgery in a hospital.

In a statement, Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi accused the "enemies of Iran" of trying to use force to "divide the united nation". Raisi promised a firm response from the security forces. In Afghanistan, for example, the Sunni jihadists repeatedly carry out attacks on Shiite Muslims, whom they describe as apostates from Islam and despise. Such acts of terrorism are very unusual in Iran.

Shah Cheragh mausoleum is the most popular pilgrimage site in southern Iran. In the Islamic Republic, Shia Muslims make up the majority of the population. In Shah Cheragh is the tomb of Ahmed, the brother of the eighth Shia Imam Reza. In early April, a 21-year-old visitor from Uzbekistan stabbed two Shia believers and injured another in the courtyard of his tomb, the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran's second largest city. The assailant was later found guilty of the crime of "war against God" (moharebeh), according to the judicial authorities, and hanged in Mashhad in June.

Apparently, the assassination was not connected to the mass protests in Iran after the death of the 22-year-old Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini. Also on Wednesday - 40 days after her death - numerous people took to the streets across the country. In Iran, people traditionally mourn the death of a family member for 40 days. Activists had previously called for nationwide protests on the day of mourning.

Security forces reportedly fired on demonstrators in several cities. In the capital Tehran, security forces used tear gas against a demonstration by doctors. Towards evening people also came together in Tehran to sing exuberantly on the street. In the north of the metropolis, many women could be seen without the obligatory headscarf, as eyewitnesses reported.

Morality police arrested Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating Islamic dress codes. The woman died in police custody on September 16. Since her death, thousands have been demonstrating across the country against the government's repressive course and the Islamic system of rule.

Meanwhile, the United States expressed concern about possible support for Moscow in crushing the mass protests. "We know they may be considering some sort of support for Iran's ability to take action against protesters, and unfortunately Russia has experience in that," National Security Council communications director John Kirby said in Washington on Wednesday. When asked by journalists, it remained somewhat unclear whether this alleged support had already begun or not.

Israel's head of state Izchak Herzog again criticized Iran with sharp words. "Today, the Iranian regime is oppressing thousands of Iranian citizens, men, young men and women, who are demonstrating and simply standing up for their own freedoms," Herzog said at a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday. He also warned of Tehran's nuclear capabilities. The country also supplies deadly weapons that are used to kill innocent people in Ukraine. Biden stressed at the meeting that the ideas and values ​​of Israel and the United States are the same.

Meanwhile, two of Germany's best-known entertainers are supporting the system-critical protest movement in Iran with concentrated attention: Joko and Klaas have given away their personal Instagram accounts "forever" to two Iranian activists - together it's about two million followers.

The two ProSieben moderators announced the solidarity campaign on Wednesday evening on the show "Joko and Klaas 15 minutes live". They had previously deleted all of their own posts. For minutes, ProSieben aired prime-time footage of the protests in Iran and images of how brutally security forces were cracking down on them.

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