At least 12 people have been killed and scores of others wounded today when a time bomb planted along the route of a military parade detonated in the city of Mahabad, just miles from Iran’s border with Iraqi Kurdistan.
Officials were quick to blame Kurdish separatist groups for the attack, and Provincial Governor Vahid Jalalzadeh said he believed the attack involved “foreign elements,” mentioning the US in particular as a possible culprit.
The Iranian government has been fighting an on-again, off-again war with the Kurdish separatist movement for years, and in recent months has launched attacks across the border into Iraq, claiming that the groups are using Iraqi territory as a staging area.
The military parade was part of a weeklong celebration in Iran commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion, which sparked an eight year long war that killed upwards of a million people. Iran and Iraq have been on comparatively good terms since the start of the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, which installed a pro-Iranian regime.