Iran warns US, Israel after parade attack, arrests 'large network of suspects'

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The deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards has warned the United States and Israel to expect a "devastating" response after accusing them of involvement in an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.

An Iranian military spokesman rejected the notion that ISIS was behind the attack and said the gunmen were trained by two Gulf Arab states and had ties to the United States and Israel. In a statement on Sunday, the paramilitary organization said it knows where the attack came from, and threatened the masterminds "will face a deadly and unforgettable vengeance in the near future".

Soldiers crawled on the street to avoid bullets. Women, children and a disabled war veteran were also among the victims, officials said.

"Terrorists began shooting from a long distance while inside the park, at the armed forces as well as civilians watching the parade", Brig.

The Islamic State group also claimed responsibility for the attack, but provided no evidence it carried out the assault.

A man wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with what appears to be a Revolutionary Guard logo discussed the impending attack in Farsi in the video. "We stand with the Iranian people against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism and express our sympathy to them at this awful time", Nauert said.

He blamed regional countries and their "US masters" for the attack, adding that Iran would respond "swiftly and decisively".

A 2017 double bombing in Tehran claimed by the Sunni extremist group Islamic State left 18 people dead.

The United Kingdom's ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire tweeted his condolences.

"Most of the martyrs were from the Guards", said Ali Hossein Hossein Zadeh, deputy to the Khuzestan provincial governor, referring to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, or IRGC. But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.

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President Hassan Rouhani later said a "crushing" response awaited those responsible for the attack.

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

The UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, for his part, stressed his country's rejection of acts of terrorism and accused Tehran of a campaign of "official incitement" against the Emirates.

The attack undermined the Iranian government "on the day it wants to give a message to the world that it is powerful and in control", al-Tostari said.

Their funerals will be held on Monday.

"Three of the terrorists were killed on the spot and a fourth one who was injured died in hospital", Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior spokesman for Iran's armed forces, told state television. Tehran claims it has uncovered a large "network" responsible for the Ahvaz attacks.

The Gulf Arab state of Qatar, a rival of U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, condemned the assault on the military parade, which wounded at least 70 people.

Some Arabs, one of two main ethnic groups in the province alongside Persians, complain of systematic discrimination and demand Independence from what they describe as an "Persian occupation".

Four militants attacked a parade commemorating the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, capital of the border province of Khuzestan.

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