BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Iran condemns Beirut attack, blames 'Zionist agents'

  • A civil defence member walks at the site of an explosion near the Iranian cultural centre in the southern suburbs of Beirut February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIRUT: Iran's Foreign Ministry condemned Wednesday's twin suicide attack targeting an Iranian Cultural Center in a Beirut suburb, blaming “Zionist agents” unhappy with the formation of an all-embracing Lebanese government.

“The perpetrators behind this criminal operation are the enemies of safety, security, and Lebanon’s unity. They are agents of the Zionist enemy who felt disappointed and despair when the new Lebanese inclusive government was formed,” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said in a statement.

She added that the twin suicide attacks struck near the Iranian Cultural Center, the offices of Iran's state news agency IRNA, and the Iranian Committee of Television and Radio.

The attack, which occurred at 9:25 a.m., killed seven people and wounded 128 others, a security source said.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the deadly explosions, describing the attacks as a "raid" against the center in retaliation for Hezbollah and Tehran's role in the Syrian war.

The same group also claimed the Nov. 19 twin suicide attack outside the Iranian Embassy that killed dozens, including an Iranian diplomat.

On its Twitter feed, the group vowed to carry out more attacks against Hezbollah and Iran over their military involvement in Syria and the continued detention of Muslim men in Lebanese prisons.

 
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