The United States on Friday rejected claims by Iranian officials that it was behind the deadly bombing of a Shiite mosque in southeastern Iran.
“We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms, and extend our sympathies to the families injured and killed,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.
“We note with concern a recent trend of bombings of Shiite mosques in Iraq and Pakistan as well as in Iran and strongly condemn any kind of sectarian driven violence,” he said
“The US strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. We do not sponsor any form of terrorism in Iran and we continue to work with the international community to try to prevent any attacks against innocent civilians anywhere.”
“We do not sponsor any form of terrorism anywhere in the world. Never have, never will,” he said when reporters said it could be inferred that United States might sponsor terrorism elsewhere.
In Tehran, Iranian officials accused the United States on Friday of “hiring” those behind a suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque that killed 25 people, linking the attack to next month’s presidential election.
“Three people involved with the terrorist incident were arrested,” said Jalal Sayah, deputy governor of Sistan-Baluchestan, the province bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan where the attack took place.
“According to the information obtained they were hired by America and the agents of the arrogance,” Sayah told the Fars news agency. Officials usually use the term “global arrogance” to refer to Iran arch-foe the United States.
Interior Minister Sadegh Mahsooli also pointed the finger towards the United States and Israel.