Iran (MNN) — On Saturday, four gunmen disguised as Iran’s Revolutionary Guard opened fire on an Iranian military parade in Ahvaz. They shot into the marching soldiers and crowd, killing 25 people and injuring 60 including civilians.
All four of the gunmen died as well — three during the attack and one in the hospital. This was the deadliest attack Iran has seen in almost a decade.
Mike Ansari with Heart4Iran explains, “It appears several different groups have taken responsibility for the attack. One of them is ISIS; the other one is the [Al-Ahwaz Arab Popular Democratic Front], which is backed by the Gulf States. Nevertheless, there is a bit of confusion as to who is truly responsible for this attack.”
A mass funeral for the victims took place yesterday. The youngest victim was four-years-old. Mourners turned out by the tens of thousands.
At the funeral, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavai vowed to punish the terrorists responsible for this attack and claimed several suspects had already been identified and detained.
“There has been a global outpour of condemnation of this kind of terrorist attack on civilians in Iran,” Ansari shares, “and even the voice[s] of opposition through the current regime inside Iran have all condemned this attack and share their sympathy and condolences to the survivors.”
Ansari says this attack comes at a time when the Iranian people are already beleaguered and weary. Between a staggering economy, political tensions, and further US sanctions set to start in November, the citizens are often collateral damage.
“Definitely, there is a major spiritual attack and emotional attack on Iran. Iran right now is being challenged on many fronts by forces from outside. In particular, this challenge mimics what happened about a year ago — the attack on the Iranian parliament.”
Mohabat TV, a ministry of Heart4Iran, uses satellite television to broadcast biblical messages into Iran. The Iranian Church is in a unique position to offer hope and encouragement through Jesus Christ.
“All of us at Mohabat TV also, we condemn any kind of terrorist attack on civilians and the people of any country, any nation. We go back to the gospels and we read that the message of Jesus has been all along one of peace and reconciliation. We just pray that God’s mercy would fall on the region and on the people and there would be healing.”
Please join us in praying also for the Iranian Church to be an encouragement to their neighbors at this time.
To learn more about Heart4Iran’s ministry, click here!
(Header photo courtesy of meisam hassanzadeh via Wikimedia Commons: https://goo.gl/vscZL1)