SEP 22, 2018: Following a deadly attack on a military parade in southern Iran, the country’s foreign minister said that regional sponsors of terrorism and their “US masters” are to be held accountable for such assaults.
Top Iranian diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed to respond “swiftly and decisively” after gunmen opened fire in southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday leading to multiple casualties — 8 according to media reports and included children and some media persons.
The minister claimed that the terrorists were sponsored and trained by “a foreign regime.”
“Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives,” tweeted Zarif.
Iran was holding a number of parades in cities including capital Tehran and the port of Bandar Abbas on the Gulf to mark the start of the country’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.
Shooting broke out several minutes into the parade and lasted for ten minutes, which featured troops from the Iranian Army’s 92nd armoured division, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.
“Shooting began by several gunmen from behind the stand during the parade. There are several killed and injured,” a correspondent told state television.
At least 20 people, including a child and a woman, were injured — some of them and are said to be in critical condition.
State television blamed “takfiri elements”, a reference to Islamist militants, for the attack in Ahvaz, the center of Khuzestan province, which has been the site of sporadic protests by Iran’s Arab minority.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at US President Donald Trump hours after the deadly attack, saying Trump would fail in his confrontation with #Iran “just like Saddam Hussein did.”
Rouhani vows to boost Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities despite Western concerns.
Sanctions, Oil Prices
Iran faces sanctions imposed by Trump from Nov 5 after he withdrew the United States from the six-nation Iran nuclear deal back in May.
The deal between Iran and six world powers and the European Union was made to ensure that Tehran’s nuclear program had a peaceful purpose, rather than to make nuclear weapons.
Iran oil exports are already down about 35%, taking crude and condensate [a very light oil] together.
The sanctions probably will remove 1 million to 2 million barrels of oil a day from the market, and that’s obviously very bullish for prices.
Iran’s crude and condensate exports averaged 1.92 million barrels a day in August, down from 2.32 million in July, according to estimates from S&P Global Platts.
Since Trump’s announcement in early May through mid-September, the price of Brent crude –the global benchmark, climbed roughly 7%. It settled at $78.60 a barrel on Thursday, up about 18% since the year began.
It’s more likely that U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude prices will spike into the $100 range, prompting production from drilled-but-uncompleted wells to ramp up, “along with greater U.S. exports to ease the tight market,” said Campbell Faulkner, a senior data analyst at EOXLive. That “will not replace the totality of the loss, but it, along with marginal production increases globally, can soak the market to prevent” oil from going into the $130 range.
According to MarketWatch, Saudi Arabia and Russia have been trying to ensure market stability in the aftermath of the Iran sanctions, but some question their ability to make up for the lost barrels of crude.