Iran Protests to US over Deadly Blast in Shiraz

r17.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran protested to the United States on Wednesday over a US-based counter-revolutionary group responsible for a deadly mosque bombing.

The protest was lodged through the Swiss embassy, which looks after US interests in Iran in absence of diplomatic ties.

The Swiss charge d’affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry in the absence of its ambassador and he was informed of Iran’s strong protest against free activities of a terrorist counter-revolutionary group in the US.

“According to undeniable and strong evidence and documents, a terrorist network that was involved in the Shiraz mosque blast is supported and directed by an anti-revolutionary group inside the US,” ISNA said, quoting a foreign ministry director for the Americas.

Acting from inside America, this counter-revolutionary group used the media and the Internet to recruit the terrorists, finance, train and send them to Iran, and it has claimed responsibility for the blast.

It added that the network intended to carry out “other terrorist acts in the country.

The foreign ministry director insisted that the US government is responsible for the killing of innocent Iranian people and all the terrorist acts of this group.

It added that part of the evidence and documents about the group’s activities were handed to the Swiss diplomat to be submitted to American officials.

Iran has already arrested 15 people and accused the United States and Britain of training and financing those behind the April 12 bombing which killed 13 people and wounded more than 200 in a religious center in the southern city of Shiraz.

Security is normally tight in Iran and bomb attacks have been rare in recent years.

Iran has blamed US and British agents based in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan for launching deadly attacks in border provinces in recent years.

Documents obtained in previous cases have proved that Britain and the United States have both striven to destabilize the Islamic Republic by supporting rebels, mainly those in sensitive border areas.

But the strike in Shiraz was the first in decades in Iran’s Persian heartland.

The blast and fire in Shiraz occurred about 9 p.m. in the Rahpouyan-e Vessal cultural center section of Shohada Hosseiniyeh (a religious center similar to a mosque).

The explosion ripped through the hall packed with 800 of worshippers as well-known cleric Anjavinejad delivered his weekly speech against extremist Wahabi beliefs and the outlawed Baha’i faith – both of which are considered heretical by Muslims, specially Shiites.

Shiraz – a historical city of more than 1 million people – is known for being home to many scholars, artists and poets, and for local craftsmanship of rugs and metalwork. The tourist city, about 400 miles south of Tehran, is the capital of southern province of Fars.

One of Iran’s most famous cities, Shiraz is popular with foreign tourists because of its proximity to important ancient sites from the Achaemenid Empire that ruled much of Asia from 550-331 BC.

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