Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday blamed “bullying” United States and its Gulf states allies for terrorists’ attacks one day earlier on a military parade in Ahvaz in southwest Iran.
“It is entirely clear to us who did it, who they are and where they are affiliated to,” he said in Tehran before leaving to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York. “The sponsor of all these small mercenary countries in the region is America.”
Ahvaz National Resistance, an umbrella group that claims to defend the rights of the Arab minority in Iran’s Khuzestan Province, and Islamic State militants are claiming responsibility after gunmen opened fire on Revolutionary Guard troops in the military parade.
“The U.S. showed the world their bullying nature and they keep continuing their unilateral policies,” Rouhani said.
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He added the “small puppet countries in the region are backed by America, and the U.S. is provoking them and giving them the necessary capabilities.”
The Iranian president didn’t specify which “puppet” countries he was referring to. His comments are widely thought to be directed at Iran’s regional foe Saudi Arabia, and the UAE and Bahrain.
Iran’s foreign ministry summoned a UAE envoy at “biased statements” made in support of the attack.
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An adviser to the UAE crown prince posted on Twitter that “attacking a military target is not a terrorist act” and “moving the battle deeper inside in Iran is a declared option.”
“Americans want Iran to have no security,” Rouhani said. “They want to create chaos and turmoil and set the conditions so that they can return to the country one day and take charge as they did in the old days, but none of these is possible,” the president said.
“These are unattainable dreams and America will never achieve any of these goals.”
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He explained that “our people will resist and the government has prepared itself for this confrontation.”
He predicted support from those who will “join hands to put these difficult times behind us with the grace of God. The Americans will regret what they did because they made a very wrong choice.”
U.S. President Donald Trump is also scheduled to be at the U.N. General Assembly this week.
Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said because sanctions against Iran are causing economic pain, it will eventually lead to the downfall of government.
“I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them,” he told a meeting of Mujahedin Khalq Organization terrorist group in New York. “It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen.”
Although the United States has supported the MKO, the Trump administration has said it is not seeking a government change in Iran.
And Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reiterated that policy Sunday.
“The United States is not looking to do regime change in Iran,” Haley said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We’re not looking to do regime change anywhere.”