News of Arrest of Shiraz Bombing Perpetrators Published, with Delay
In this regard, Entekhab news website wrote, “In a meeting with the senior members of Rahpooyan Vesal group and the surviving family members of the “martyrs” who died in the Shiraz bombing, Interior Minister Mohammad Pourmohammadi announced that the perpetrators of the terrorist bombing had been arrested.” The report continued, “Pourmohammadi asserted that the reasons for not officially announcing the news were certain security issues.” The official IRNA news agency wrote that Pourmohammadi had said, “This explosion was an act of sabotage and the work of the enemies of the great Iranian nation and the holly cursed individuals under the pretext of monarchism and with the support of countries that claim to be defenders of human rights, of national rights and of anti-terrorism.”
Minutes after the publication of this news, an interview with the Minister of Intelligence of Iran was presented to ISNA, Fars and IRNA news agencies according to which the minister declared that the Shiraz “bombing had been carried out by a terrorist group connected to Western countries, particularly Britain and the US”. Referring to the absence of an announcement on the issue in recent weeks, Minister Gholam Hossein Ejei said, “One of the problems in making a news announcement on the event and the delay in the announcement was because of efforts to detain the suspects. But with the commencement of activities of intelligence bureaus in a number of provinces, such as those in Fars, Tehran and Mazandaran, the principal perpetrators of this bombing have been identified and their foreign contact has been arrested.”
Further accusing foreign elements in this regard, Ejei said, “The sabotage group which had been connected to a number of Western countries, particularly the UK and the US, was involved in terrorist activities in Iran for some years. And even though we sent very good information about the group to these countries through our Foreign Ministry indicating that the group was a terrorist group, they did not confront the issue and even supported the group.”
Minutes after the publication of this news, ayatollah Dastgheib, an influential cleric from Shiraz announced that officials had to apologize to the Iranian nation because they had earlier denied that this bombing was terrorist related. Entekhab news website went event further and while publishing Dastgheib’s remarks called for the resignation of the governor, governor general and other senior officials of Fars province (where the bombing took place) because they had repeatedly in the past denied that terrorist were behind the event.
Soon after the bombing, the governor general of Shiraz went to the site and rejected any possibility of terrorism and promised to arrest the perpetrators. By summoning cleric Anjavinejad to the governor’s office, other provincial officials asked him not to take any sides on the issue. At the national level too, many senior officials had denied that the bombing was a terrorist event and attributed the explosions to “negligence” on behalf of the Rahpooyan group that had organized the gathering at the mosque.
The explosion took place at a mosque in Shiraz which killed 14 individuals and left more that 200 injured.