Iran General NewsIran says mosque bombers planned pipeline blast

Iran says mosque bombers planned pipeline blast

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ImageAFP: Iran's intelligence ministry said on Saturday that a "terrorist" group responsible for a deadly mosque blast had plans to bomb oil pipelines in southern Iran.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran's intelligence ministry said on Saturday that a "terrorist" group responsible for a deadly mosque blast had plans to bomb oil pipelines in southern Iran.

Iran has arrested 15 people and accused the United States and Britain of training and financing those behind the April bombing which killed 13 people and wounded more than 200.

"Exploding oil pipelines … had been on the sabotage agenda of this group, and American centres provided diving lessons for them to identify pipelines in the Persian Gulf for this aim," the ministry said a statement carried by state media.

The ministry said it had "credible documents about certain centres in the United States and the Zionist regime and their links and cooperation with anti-Iranian terrorist networks."

"Legal and diplomatic measures will be taken against the United States and Britain on completion of investigations and intelligence," the statement said.

Iranian judiciary said last week the Islamic republic hoped to press charges against Washington and London over the blast.

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie on Wednesday said the bombers had links with an anti-Islamic opposition Persian language television channel based in Britain.

He also repeated Iran's allegations of US involvement in the attack, charging that "the bombers were directly controlled by America".

The April 12 bombing ripped through a packed mosque during the evening prayers sermon led by a prominent local cleric.

Iran has in past blamed US and British agents based in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan for launching attacks in recent years in border provinces with significant ethnic minority populations.

But the strike in Shiraz was the first in decades in Iran's Persian heartland. The normally placid city is not in a border zone, nor is it home to any significant ethnic or religious minority population.

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