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Iran accuses Britain for attacks on Bassij

The Iranian regime has blamed Britain for recent attacks on its paramilitary Bassij forces visiting Iran-Iraq War battlefields (click here for article).

The Tabnak website's "proof" rests on a UK telephone number found on a mobile phone seized by the security forces in arrests that followed the attacks, which led to several Bassij deaths. It also claims that the guns used in the attacks were supplied by British forces stationed in Al-Amarah in Iraq. It said the first attack on the Bassij was carried out by domestic groups, but the second attack involved foreigners.

The Tabnak website is affiliated to Iran's powerful Expediency Discernment Council, the consultative group chaired by Hashemi Rafsanjani and appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) received a statement from an Ahwazi group named the Sa'ad Ibn Abi Waqqas Brigade which claimed responsibility for an armed attack on a bus travelling along the Bostan-Howaiza road on 27 March at 8pm. The message was passed on by the Ahwaz Liberation Organisation (ALO), whose leader Faleh Abdullah al-Mansouri, a Dutch citizen, is currently being held in prison in Iran following his abduction from Syria in May 2006. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for on the Iranian regime not to execute al-Mansouri. BAFS has no links to the ALO or the Brigade claiming responsibility for the attacks.

The Brigade claims that it killed four members of the Iranian security forces and injured seven, without sustaining any casualties. It says the personnel were travelling to visit an Iran-Iraq War battlefield for the Nowruz holiday. Arab children began attacking the bus convoy with stones before the armed group opened fire.

The Brigade said the attack was carried out in response to the torturing and killing of Ahwazi Arabs. It pledged to strike any Iranian military or paramilitary units inside the "occupied Ahwazi territories" in response to the "unjust policies" and would continue the attacks "so long as there is even one Iranian soldier on Ahwazi soil." The armed group is named after Sa'ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, one of the Prophet Muhammed's companions.