On December 6th, a suicide bomber and a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device appeared to be involved in an attack on a police headquarters in the city of Chabahar in southeastern Iran, killing at least 2 people and leaving 15 injured, according to reports by Iranian State TV.
Rahmdel Bameri, a provincial official, said a suicide attacker driving a vehicle loaded with explosives drove up to the police headquarters.
PressTV reported that the terrorists failed to reach their target. Security forces were quick to respond to the situation and prevented the attackers from entering the headquarters, Ahmad-Ali Mouhebati, the Governor of Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province said.
The driver was shot and killed by security forces members, according to the deputy governor for security affairs Mohammad Hadi Marashi.
According to the official news agency IRNA there was sporadic shooting following the explosion.
Reports on the incident are conflicting, as some outlets claim 3 people have died, while others claim only 2, the number of injured varies between 15 and 30 as well.
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour personally visited the site of the attack. He described the incident as “an indiscriminate terror attack, which yielded no results for the terrorists.”
He also said that the situation had been contained and that IRGC forces were deployed on the site and in full alert.
As of midday December 6th, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the semi-official Tasnim news agency, believed to be close to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, blamed the attack on Ansar al-Furqan, a Sunni jihadi group, according to Your Basin.
Chabahar is located near Iran’s border with Pakistan on the Sea of Oman and is home to a recently built port and is an economic free zone for the country.
It is of significance that the attack follows the approval of a tweaked draft law against funding terrorism on December 5th. Radio Free Liberty reported that Iranian officials hope the draft will bring Tehran closer to global standards and help remove it from investment blacklists.
IRNA said lawmakers had included amendments requested by The Guardian Council, which must check all legislation passed through parliament before it becomes actual law. The necessity of the check is to guarantee that a law does not go against the Islamic Republic’s constitution.
The bill’s supporters hope the move will allow Iran to join an international convention against the funding of terrorism and comply with measures against money laundering set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Opposition of the bill opposes parts of the legislation, claiming that it could hamper Iranian support for allies such as Hezbollah, which the US has classified as a terrorist organization.
Iran is seldom the victim of terror attacks. However, over the past 3 months the situation has deteriorated at least partly. On September 23rd, militants disguised as soldiers opened fire at the procession of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard while they marched through the city of Ahvaz. At least 24 people were killed and more than 60 were injured.
ISIS and Western-backed Arab separatists have both claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, while Iranian leaders implicated Gulf countries and the United States — promising a “devastating” response.