Obama denounces Chabahar terror bombings, stands with Iran, which blames the U.S. anyway
Initial news reports were confused, but apparently two suicide bombers ignited themselves in a downtown religious procession, killing a reported 39 and wounding scores more.
Obama (full text below) called the bombings "disgraceful and cowardly," and added: "The United States condemns all acts of terrorism wherever they occur."
The Jundallah insurgent group, which says the country's majority Shiite Muslims persecute the minority Sunni Muslims, claimed responsibility for the attacks online and released photos of the purported killers wearing explosives.
The group said the civilian deaths were in retaliation for the government's execution last summer of Jundallah's leader, Abdulmalak Rigi.
Iran's Interior Ministry, however, immediately blamed foreign governments, mainly the United States. Its statement said: "The equipment and logistical support of the terrorists indicate that these elements were backed by advanced intelligence services of the region and the United States."
Fulfilling a controversial campaign promise, Obama has made numerous unrequited gestures toward the Islamic Republic, promising respect for the Persian culture and traditions and an open dialogue.
The Democrat's gestures have been rejected or mocked as Iran has continued its independent program to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, as well as aiding insurgent forces fighting American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scroll down for Obama's brief full statement.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Statement by the President on the attack in Chabahar, Iran,
as provided by the White House
I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack on a mosque in Chabahar, Iran.
The murder of innocent civilians in their place of worship during Ashura is a despicable offense, and those who carried it out must be held accountable. This is a disgraceful and cowardly act.
This and other similar acts of terrorism recognize no religious, political, or national boundaries. The United States condemns all acts of terrorism wherever they occur.
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.
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. ####
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Photos: Iran News Agency; Jundullah (purported suicide bomber).