Both Armenian members of parliament unharmed; community safe.
YEREVAN—Armenia’s president, prime minister, foreign minister and National Assembly speaker each addressed condolence and condemnation messages in wake of Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Iran, which hit the parliament building, as well as the mausoleum of the late Iranian leader Ayataollah Rouhollah Khomeini, a holy site in the city of Qoum.
The attack on parliament happened while the legislature was in session. Both Armenian parliament members were reportedly unharmed, with one of them, Karen Khanlarian telling ArmRadio that they did not hear the attacks and were told to remain in the parliament chambers.
Condemnation messages from Armenian officials also expressed solidarity with Armenia’s southern neighbor, with which it has enjoyed a robust relationship.
“Attaching importance to security and stability in the neighboring and friendly country, I am confident that the Iranian authorities are taking all necessary measures to prevent such actions,” President Serzh Sarkisian wrote to President Hassan Rouhani.
“We strongly condemn attacks at Iran’s Parliament and Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian who is on an official visit in Italy said in a statement posted on the ministry’s Twitter page. “In solidarity with people of Iran.”
‘We strongly condemn terrorism, the fight against which is a common interest. Offering my deep sympathy and condolences to the victims’ families, I wish the wounded a speedy recovery,” Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said in a message to Iran’s Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri
In a message to his Iranian counterpart, Armenia’s parliament speaker Ara Babloyan said, ”Deeply condemning this barbaric act, on behalf of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and myself, we offer our deepest condolences and solidarity to you, the relatives and families of the killed, the friendly people of Iran, wishing them fortitude and patience, and quick recovery to the injured.’
‘We strictly condemn the extreme manifestations based on intolerance and hatred. Our consolidated efforts should be directed to the fight against this dreadful phenomenon,’ Babloyan said in his message to Iran’s Parliament speaker Ali Ardeshir Larijani.
The Armenian Embassy in Tehran urged Armenian citizens to stay away from the affected areas, pledging that it would update citizens as developments warranted.
Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people and injuring 43 in a twin assault which Iran’s Revolutionary Guards blamed on regional rival Saudi Arabia, reported Reuters.
Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building. It also threatened more attacks against Iran’s majority Shi’ite population, seen by the hardline Sunni militants as “heretics,” added Reuters.
Attackers dressed as women burst through parliament’s main entrance in central Tehran, deputy interior minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari said, according to the Tasnim news agency.
One of them detonated a suicide vest in the parliament, he said. About five hours later, Iranian media said four people who had attacked parliament were dead and the incident was over.
Soon after the assault on parliament, another bomber detonated a suicide vest near the shrine of the Islamic Republic’s revered founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, a few south of south of the city, Zolfaghari said adding that a second attacker was shot dead, he said.
“The terrorists had explosives strapped to them and suddenly started to shoot around,” said the shrine’s overseer, Mohammadali Ansari.
The Intelligence Ministry said security forces had arrested another “terrorist team” planning a third attack.