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By Russ Read
Islamic State terrorists attacked Iran for the first time Wednesday with two attacks in the country’s capital.
The simultaneous attacks targeted Iran’s parliament building and a shrine dedicated to the Islamic Republic’s first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini. The ISIS attackers used AK-47 style assault rifles, handguns and suicide bomber vests in their attacks, according to Iranian state-run media. Twelve people were killed, while approximately 42 others were injured.
The attackers killed security guards at the parliament building and took hostages in the top floors of the building, an unusual move for ISIS terrorists. A siege lasted for several hours before Iranian security forces killed three of them. A fourth detonated his explosive vest.
“Terrorism is a problem that we are facing in the Middle East region and the world,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while on a trip to Turkey Wednesday. “The entire region has become insecure and we condemn the blind act.”
The attack on the Khomeini shrine was likely purposeful, as the former leader is a revered figure among Iranians. ISIS members consider the predominantly Shiite Iranians as heretical, and consider shrines to be idolatrous.
ISIS released a video supposedly showing the siege as it happened through the Amaq news agency, a known ISIS propaganda outlet.
ISIS has successfully attacked Iran, the U.K., the Philippines and Iraq in the last week. The attacks have come during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which has previously seen an increase in terrorist incidents historically.