On January 4, 2023, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the dual explosions in Iran that resulted in 100 fatalities and numerous injuries during a memorial event for the late commander of the Iranian Commander Qaseem Soleimani event who was killed by an American drone in neighboring Iraq in the year 2020.
Claims of Responsibility
Through a statement posted on its affiliated Telegram channels, the Sunni Muslim terrorist group asserted that two of its members had triggered explosive belts within the crowd gathered at the cemetery in the south eastern city of Kerman on January 3, 2024 to commemorate the death anniversary of Qaseem Soleimani.
Tehran had initially attributed the explosions to terrorists and vowed retaliation for what has been described as deadliest attacks since the 1979 Iranian revolution. The Twin blasts caused injuries to 284 people including several women and children. An unidentified source informed the state agency IRNA that the explosion in the city of Kerman was likely caused by a suicide bomber. The cause of the second blast was presumed to be similar according to the same source.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) issued a statement condemning the cowardly terrorist attack in Kerman and has expressed its condolences to the victims’ families and the Iranian government. A large number of mass protests have emerged on January 5, 2024 coinciding with the funerals of the victims. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps denounced the attacks as a cowardly act aiming to create insecurity and retaliate against the nations deep loyalty to the Islamic Republic. The Iranian President Ebrahim Raesi too condemned the heinous and inhuman crime.
In 2022, the Islamic State claimed the responsibility of for an attack on a Shiite shrine in Iran resulting in 15 deaths Previous attacks attributed to the Islamic State include twin bombings in 2017 targeting the Iranian parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The United States of America denied any type of involvement in the explosions and stated that it had no reason to believe Israel was implicated. The US has characterized the blasts as a terrorist attack consistent with those previously carried out by the Islamic State.