ISIS Terror Attack on Shia Shrine Kills 40, Injures 15 in Iran
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi declared that those responsible would “receive a regretful and decisive response” and that “this evil will definitely not go unanswered.”
A terrorist attack occurred Wednesday at the Shahcheragh Shrine in Shiraz, Iran, and ISIS has claimed responsibility, CNN reported, citing Iran’s state-run Press TV. According to the report, fifteen people died, and forty were injured in the attack.
Two people thought responsible have been arrested in connection to the attack, which killed two children.
“The terrorist first targeted the servant and guard of the shrine, and intended to attack the congregational evening prayers, but one of the servants shut the door on him,” the governor of Fas province said, according to CNN.
In its claim of responsibility, ISIS stated that it “targeted groups of Sunni refusal infidels inside the shrine with his machine gun, causing the death of tens of them.”
The attack coincided with continuing protests in Iran following the death in custody of a twenty-two year-old woman named Mahsa Amini. This week marked the fortieth day since her death, and protesters gathered at her burial place. Iran has blamed foreign influence for the protests.
An AP analysis stated that the shrine attack and the protesters appeared unrelated.
According to Reuters, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has vowed revenge for the attack.
"We firmly declare: the fire of revenge of the people of Iran will finally catch up with them and punish them for their shameful deeds," Hossein Salami, the Guard’s commander, said, per Reuters, which cited the “semi-official” Tasnim news agency.
Separately, Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi declared that those responsible would “receive a regretful and decisive response” and that “this evil will definitely not go unanswered.”
Shi’ite-controlled Iran refers to Sunni Muslim attackers as "takfiri terrorists,” and did so in this instance.
In 2017, ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, targeted Iran’s Parliament and the tomb of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The unrest is taking place in Iran as “Holy Spider,” a film about the reign of a serial killer in Mashhad, Iran, is set to open in the United States.
The killer, Saeed Hanaei, killed sixteen sex workers in 2000 and 2001, claiming a religious motive for the killings. Found guilty at trial, he was executed by hanging in 2002. The film stars Zar Amir Ebrahimi, an Iranian-born actress, as a journalist investigating the killings.
The Iranian government has expressed its extreme disapproval of the film.
The Cinema Organization of Iran, after “Holy Spider” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, said the film “has insulted the beliefs and values of millions of Muslims and the large community of the Shia in the world,” and also called it “a product of the confused mind of a Danish-Iranian person and financed by global arrogance.” They also compared the film to Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.