Iran | Day of mourning after an attack which left 84 dead

(Tehran) Iran observes a day of national mourning Thursday the day after the attack which left at least 84 dead near the tomb of General Qassem Soleimani, former architect of Iranian military operations in the Middle East whose country commemorated the fourth anniversary of death.

This attack occurred in a very tense regional context since the start of the conflict in October between Israel and Hamas, and the day after the elimination of a senior official of the Palestinian Islamist movement in a strike near Beirut, attributed to Israel.

In Iran, officials immediately pointed the finger at Israel and the United States after the double explosion which occurred on Wednesday in Kerman, near the Saheb al-Zaman mosque, where the tomb of General Soleimani killed in January 2020 is located. in a US drone attack in Iraq.

A compact crowd of representatives of the Iranian regime and anonymous people attended the memorial ceremony.


A political adviser to the Iranian president, Mohammad Jamshidi, claimed that the “American and Zionist regimes” were behind the attack which has not been claimed so far.

In the United States, the State Department deemed “absurd” any suggestion of US or Israeli involvement in this attack which “sounds like a terrorist attack, the kind of thing that ISIS (State Islamic) has done in the past,” according to a senior U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity.

The death toll was revised downward again on Thursday. After 103 deaths announced by the official Irna news agency then 95 by the Minister of Health, Bahram Eynollahi, the head of the country’s emergency services, Jafar Miadfar, reported 84 dead and 284 injured.

Iran declared Thursday a “national day of mourning” after this attack, the deadliest in the country since 1978, when an arson attack left at least 377 dead in a cinema in Abadan, according to AFP archives.

“Severe response”

Iran’s sworn enemy, Israel, has not commented on the attack. “We are focused on the fighting with Hamas” in the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip, said Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised a “severe response” to the attack, an “odious and cowardly” act for President Ebrahim Raïssi who canceled a trip planned for Thursday to Turkey, according to an Iranian media outlet. State.


Ebrahim Raïssi

A first explosion occurred 700 meters from General Soleimani’s grave, the second one kilometer further, according to Iranian sources.

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, supported by Tehran, denounced a “terrorist act (…) which seeks to destabilize the security of the Islamic Republic in the service of the agenda of the Zionist entity (Israel)”.

Syria expressed “its complete solidarity in the face of the terrorist attacks and shameful plots” which, according to it, target its Iranian ally.

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced an attack “shocking in its cruelty and cynicism”.

The UN Secretary General, the European Union, France, Germany, Jordan and Saudi Arabia also condemned the attack.

Qassem Soleimani was a key figure in the Iranian regime and one of the country’s most popular figures.

Long considered a sworn enemy of Washington and its allies, Qassem Soleimani led the Quds Force, the external operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, overseeing military operations throughout the Middle East.

Declared a “living martyr” by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while he was still alive, Qassem Soleimani was celebrated for his role in the defeat of the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.


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