Iran holds mass funerals for victims of military parade attack

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With a military parade in Khuzestan's city of Ahvaz on Saturday, Iran marked the start of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war that began after Baghdad attempted to annex the province, seeing as it was rich in oil and home to a significant Arab population.

Senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America. However, it came just before President Hassan Rouhani was to address the U.N. General Assembly later in the day.

As the funeral progressed, her wailing and expressions of sorrow steadily grew louder until she fainted.

Trucks were seen spraying water onto the crowd as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius.

Mourners waved red, green and black flags with revolutionary messages, as well as the flags of Arab tribes from the surrounding Khuzestan region.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the Ahvaz attack "a continuation of the conspiracies by US -backed regimes in the region".

"The cowardly attack was carried out by the same people who, whenever trapped in Syria or Iraq, the USA comes to save them", said Khamenei in a possible reference IS claims of responsibility.

He did not give any further details on the identity of those behind the "terrorist attack".

With luck, the Iranian regime will overreact and massacre enough of the separatists (and innocent bystanders) to provide the pretext for an Arab-U.S. attack.

Ethnic Arab separatists and the Islamic State group (IS) have issued competing claims that they carried out the attack, which was the deadliest in Iran in nearly a decade.

The ministry blamed a "five-member terrorist group" for the attack.

Commodity traders Trafigura and Mercuria said today that Brent could rise to $90 per barrel by Christmas and pass $100 in early 2019, as markets tighten once USA sanctions against Iran are fully implemented from November.

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Iran appeared to have taken the Ahvaz National Resistance's claim more seriously.

"The Iranian regime, in contrast, interferes in the affairs of its neighbors, and is the leading sponsor of terrorism in the region and the world". "A major part of them have already been arrested", Alavi said.

After the speeches ended, a famous wartime religious singer chanted songs of lamentation as thousands beat their chests in unison, a traditional mourning practice of Shiite Muslims.

The coffins were later transported to the city cemetery and laid to rest.

The dead ranged from a preschool boy to a wheelchair-bound war veteran.

There were several children among the victims according to information and pictures released by Iranian authorities.

The third was in 2003, when George W. Bush invaded Iraq in the mistaken belief that Saddam had links with the al-Qaida terrorists who conducted the 9/11 attacks or was working on weapons of mass destruction.

Ahvaz is home to a large and restive Sunni Arab population whose activists have pressed for separation from overwhelmingly Shiite Iran, but Hassan Salami, acting commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said at a funeral for one of the victims that Iran would "take revenge" against the USA and its allies.

"You are responsible for these actions; you will face the repercussions", the general said.

Iran holds regular military parades to mark national anniversaries and show off its latest military hardware, notably missiles.

Haley was refuting Tehran's earlier assertions that the U.S. or its Gulf allies should be held accountable for enabling the attack, when she told CNN's 'State of the Union, ' that Rouhani "needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from".

Iran has been relatively stable compared to Arab neighbours still grappling with political and economic upheaval triggered by 2011 uprisings.