After attack in Iran, the USA offers a muted response

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Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and civilians, including a child and a journalist, were among those killed, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing the deputy governor of Khuzestan, Hossein Hosseinzadeh.

Saturday's attack, in which militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in Ahvaz, was the deadliest attack in the country in almost a decade.

The Islamic State, regional Arab separatists and other groups have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Revolutionary Guards accused Shiite-dominated Iran's Sunni arch-rival Saudi Arabia of funding the attackers.

Ahvaz is in the centre of Khuzestan province, where there have been sporadic protests by the Arab minority in mainly Shi'ite Iran.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the attack near the Iraqi border was carried out by "terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime".

In this photo provided by Fars News Agency, a woman takes her children to shelter as an army member tries to help them, during a shooting at a military parade marking the 38th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran, in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, Iran, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

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President Hassan Rouhani said Iran was ready to confront the United States and its Gulf Arab allies over the attack. While Iran denies arming the rebels, known as Houthis, U.N. investigators, analysts and Western nations all say Tehran supplies weapons ranging from assault rifles to the ballistic missiles, which have been fired deep into Saudi territory.

The Trump administration has said that changing Iran's system of government is not US policy.

Iran's leaders have blamed the attack on the United States. State television blamed "takfiri elements", a reference to extremist militants, for the attack.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference with President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation following their meeting in Tehran, Iran September 7, 2018.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah, two of Iran's closest allies, issued statements condemning the attack, with Assad referencing outside involvement and Hezbollah echoing allegations of United States blame.

The Trump administration has said that changing Iran's system of government is not US policy.

However, under the Trump administration, these relations have deteriorated further as the American leader pulled the United States out of a nuclear agreement that had been agreed to with Iran and other nations under his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and moved to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

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IS had claimed the attack via its propaganda mouthpiece Amaq and that the attack was in response to Iranian involvement in conflicts across the region.

Police said that five people were arrested at the scene of the attacks and dozens more arrests were reported in the following months - many along the borders with Iraq and Turkey.

The separatist group Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz claimed responsibility for the attack, according to IRNA.

Hezbollah in a statement said "satanic and malignant hands are behind this terrorist action", and accused the United States and its allies of conducting the attack "directly or by proxy".

While he didn't name the country, the remarks are likely aimed at regional rival Saudi Arabia, which is backing President Donald Trump's drive to isolate Iran and re-impose crippling sanctions against its economy.

Last year, in the first deadly assault claimed by Islamic State in Tehran, 18 people were killed at the parliament and mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic.

The government of Syria also expressed its "full sympathy and solidarity" with Iran, while Turkey slammed a "heinous terrorist attack".

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