The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attacks that occurred at a mosque in south eastern Iran. More than 2 dozen people were killed and close to 300 wounded during a double suicide bombing in the city of Zahedan, in Iran's Sistan-va Baluchistan province on July 15th.
The militant group Jundallah, which has carried out several violent attacks in the area in the last several years, killing, among other victims, several dozen members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, claimed responsibility for the bombing. Jundallah purports to be fighting Iranian authorities on behalf of the Baluch ethnic and religious minority. The U.S. State Department's most recent human rights report notes that local and international human rights groups say the Baluch minority in Iran has suffered serious legal, economic and cultural discrimination.
In a statement, President Barack Obama called the July 15th bombing in Zahedan "outrageous," saying that the "murder of innocent civilians in their place of worship is an intolerable offense, and those who carried it out must be held accountable.
"The United States stands with the families and loved ones of those killed and injured, and with the Iranian people, in the face of this injustice," said Mr. Obama. "Together the people of the world must condemn and oppose all forms of terrorism and support the universal right of human beings to live free from fear and senseless violence."
Also condemning the Zahedan attacks "in the strongest possible terms," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labeled them "horrific." She said in a statement, "This attack, along with recent attacks in Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Algeria, underscore the global community's need to work together to combat terrorist organizations that threaten the lives of innocent civilians all around the world."
In the wake of the bombings, the Iranian government has blamed a variety of foreign groups and countries – - particularly the United States -- for sponsoring the attacks on the mosque in Zahedan. The United States categorically denies such baseless accusations. As State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said at a press briefing, "We are actively combating terrorism in all its forms. . . .We are seeking cooperation from all countries around the world, including Iran, which is a state sponsor of terrorism itself. . .We are determined," said Mr. Crowley, "to work as we can with countries around the world to reduce the threat of terrorism to all innocent civilians."