October 27, 2022 8:20 pm
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China Praises Iran’s Fight Against Extremists After ISIS Mosque Attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a major terror attack against Iranian civilians at the Shahcheragh Shrine in the city of Shiraz, southern Iran, which killed at least 15 and injured 40 more

A manhunt is still underway for a third attacker after two were apprehended at the scene. Hours after the gunmen stormed the mosque Amaq news agency, which is an ISIS propaganda outlet, issued a statement saying its members “targeted groups of Sunni refusal infidels inside the shrine with his machine gun, causing the death of tens of them.”

PressTV reported in the aftermath that there were two children among the victims, in the biggest terror attack on Shiraz since 2008, when a mosque bombing killed 14 people.

Shiraz mosque in southern Iran, file image.

Iran’s IRNA cited eyewitnesses who described the attackers as “takfiri terrorists” – a reference to hardline Sunni groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda. Iran-linked Nour news in early reporting described the men as “not Iranian nationals.” 

As we underscored previously, it is likely that Iranian security services will use this latest incident to justify the need to crack down harder on anti-government protesters. What have been dubbed “anti-hijab” demonstrations have become progressively fiercer in the weeks since the death of 22-year old Mahsa Amin in police custody. 

The White House has since alleged that Russian advisors could be assisting security forces of the Islamic Republic in stamping out the protests. There have been reports this week of multiple thousands gathered in major cities shouting anti-government slogans. 

Meanwhile, in a rare statement of solidarity, China’s foreign ministry “strongly” condemned the Shiraz mosque attack while praising Iran’s fight against “extremists”

Spokesperson Mao Ning said in a Thursday briefing, “China is shocked by and strongly condemns the attack. China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism and supports the government and people of Iran in fighting extremists and terrorists and upholding peace and stability in the country.”

AFP/Getty Images

Both China and Russia have been seen of late as more closely aligning themselves with Tehran, at a moment all three are being isolated and put under increased political pressure by the United States, including sanctions. As for Iran-China, the US Treasury has continued to ramp up targeting of sanctions-busting oil shipments, particularly punishing Chinese shipping companies alleged to be involved in Iranian crude imports.

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