Iran blames Israel, US for blasts near grave of Qasem Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani.

Two explosions occurred in Kerman, Iran, were labelled as a “terrorist attack” by state media and regional authorities. These incidents occurred amid heightened tensions in the Middle East related to genocide in Gaza by Israel, where more than 21,000 Palestinians have lost life, and the killing of a Hamas senior leader in Lebanon.

The unclaimed attacks raised concerns about a broader regional conflict, impacting global markets with over a three percent increase in oil prices and prompting worldwide condemnation.

Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed the United States and Israel for the attacks. However, both nations, the US and Israel, denied any involvement. The US State Department asserted that there was no US or Israeli role in the incident. Meanwhile, Israel declined to comment on the matter, AFP reported.

The explosions occurred near the Martyrs Cemetery at the Saheb al-Zaman Mosque in Kerman, the home town of Qasem Soleimani. The attacks coincided with a gathering of supporters commemorating Soleimani’s killing in a 2020 US drone strike in Baghdad.

Initially, reports suggested 103 people were killed, but the health minister later revised the toll to 95, citing some names being wrongly registered twice. Iran declared a national day of mourning, and its leaders promised a harsh response to what they termed a “heinous” crime.

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