Iran's Supreme Leader described Ahvaz terrorist attack as a 'cowardly act' and warned the perpetrators of a severe punishment.
The terrorist attack targeted Saturday a military parade and the civilian bystanders in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. At least 25 people, including children and women, were killed and some 60 people were injured by the terrorists.
A group, calling itself al-Ahwazieh, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Describing the terrorist attack as a cowardly act, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei praised the 'brave' performance of Iranian youth in science, defense and sport fields.
He made the remarks at a meeting with the members of Iranian squad to 2018 Asian Games.
'According to the reports, the cowardly attack was committed by those who are rescued by the Americans whenever they are locked in Syria and Iraq, and they are financed by Saudi and Emirate's money,' the leader said.
'They will certainly be severely punished,' he said.
Addressing the athletes, Ayatollah Khamenei maintained: “You are the real [gold] medals; because the most valuable asset for a country that ensures its progress, is productive, devout, serious, talented and hard-working human force.”
The Leader of the Revolution mentioned that the accomplishments of the Iranian female and male medal winners in international competitions brought happiness to the free nations, while it infuriated the Front of Arrogance, adding: “The heads of the arrogant powers are infuriated by every achievement of the Iranian nation in any area; hence, your victory is indeed a victory for the whole of the Iranian nation, and a defeat for the extensive front of the enemies of Iran. As a result, I am truly proud of you, and I wholeheartedly appreciate and thank you for your efforts.”
Referring to the frequent efforts by the enemies to obscure important achievements made by the Iranian nation, in various arenas, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Of course, your prideful victory before the eyes of hundreds of millions of people around the world is undeniable, and this feature magnifies the value of your work.”
Ayatollah Khamenei regarded the persisting scenes of athletes praying and prostrating to God after victory, Iranian female athletes’ Islamic modest dressing in the matches, and athletes offering their medals to the honored martyrs as proof of Iranian, Islamic and revolutionary identity and personality of the zealous Iranian athletes and stressed: “Hired athletes of some other countries are unable to show the identity of that nation; whereas, our Iranian athletes proudly represent the identity of the Iranian nation. What you do cannot be priced by any material calculations.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution pointed to the fact that some Iranian athletes have been threatened by certain foreign agencies and mentioned: “Being humble before the agents of the Arrogance brings no pride; thus, when faced with threats such as ‘if you do not participate in a certain match, or avoid doing a certain task, the federation will be disappointed with you’, you should not surrender to wrongful and invasive norms.”
Emphasizing on the fact that in the arena of sports no fear or compromise is acceptable; rather, bravery and progression are expected, he added: “Values and cultural customs cannot and should not be ignored. Undoubtedly, those who oppose the values of the Iranian nation are unable to do a single thing.”
Elaborating on the reasons behind Iranian athletes refraining from competing with the representatives of the Zionist Regime, Ayatollah Khamenei reminded his audience: “Since the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran never recognized the Zionist regime nor the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Of course, the Apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed and the usurper, fraudulent and apartheid Zionist regime will also collapse.”
The leader of the Islamic Revolution reiterated: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will never compete with the representatives of the Zionist regime in any sports matches and we believe this action is a true form of championship.”