In a rare move, Iran summons western diplomats over attack on military parade

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In a rare move, Iran summons western diplomats over attack on military parade

TEHRAN - Iran summoned diplomats from Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain over an attack on an army parade which killed at least 29 people near the Iraqi border, state-run media said on Sunday.

The Dutch and Danish ambassadors and the British charge d'affaires were "informed of Iran's strong protests over their respective countries' hosting of some members of the terrorist group" which carried out the attack, official news agency IRNA said.

Daesh has claimed responsibility for the rare assault, which saw gunmen spray a crowd with gunfire in the southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday.

Iranian officials have blamed "a foreign regime" backed by the United States.

Iran called on Denmark and the Netherlands to extradite the attack's "perpetrators and their accomplices" to stand trial in the Middle Eastern country, IRNA said, citing foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi.

"It is not acceptable that the European Union does not blacklist members of these terrorist groups as long as they do not perpetrate a crime on... European soil," Qasemi was quoted as saying.

The British charge d'affaires, summoned in the ambassador's absence, was told it was unacceptable "that the spokesman for the Al-Ahvazi terrorist group was allowed to claim responsibility of the attack through a London-based TV network", according to the news agency.

He was referring to a group Tehran claims is backed by its arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has vowed a "crushing" response to the attack in the province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq and has a large ethnic Arab community.

The province has seen separatist violence in the past that Iran has blamed on its regional rivals.

Daesh said via its propaganda mouthpiece Amaq that "Islamic State fighters attacked a gathering of Iranian forces" in Ahvaz.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites, reported that IS said the attack was in response to Iranian involvement in conflicts across the region. - APP/AFP