"The terrorists disguised as Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basiji (volunteer) forces opened fire to the authority and people from behind the stand during the parade", Governor of Khuzestan Gholam-Reza Shariati said, according to IRNA. At least 53 others were wounded, including some who were in critical condition.
- July 20, 2018: at least 10 Revolutionary Guards are killed in an attack led by insurgents against a base in the village of Dari, in the Marivan district of Iran´s northwestern Kurdistan region.
The judiciary-linked Mizan news agency said several of the accused were Iranians who had left to join IS in neighbouring countries and then returned.
Civilians try to take shelter at the scene of a shooting near a reviewing stand during a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran on Saturday.
The parade was part of nationwide celebrations in Iran to mark the 30th anniversary since the end of the eight-year war with Iraq that started in September 1980 and ended in August 1988.More news: Death toll 209 as survivor found in capsized Tanzania ferry
By noon the government was accusing "takfiri" militants and terrorists of the attack.
State media called the attackers terrorists and reported all four gunman were killed.
Ahvaz is the capital of Khuzestan province, an oil-rich region where Arab separatists have been known to attack oil pipelines in the past.
He emphasized that the Islamic Republic would give a strong response to the attack.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed regional countries and their "U.S. masters" for funding and arming the separatists, issuing a stark warning as regional tensions remain high in the wake of the US withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal. He vowed Tehran would respond decisively.More news: Huawei’s first 5G smartphone to come with a foldable display
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the attackers were "terrorists recruited, trained, armed, and paid by a foreign regime", but did not elaborate.
If it was IS, it would represent a failure by Iran's intelligence community to prevent a second major IS attack in its soil.
The attack came earlier in the day as rows of Revolutionary Guardsmen marched down Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard, with local TV outlets broadcasting the exact moment gunfire erupted and marching soldiers and local spectators began falling.
The attack in Ahvaz took place on the eve of President Rohani scheduled departure for NY to attend the United Nations General Assembly. They also initially wrongly said the Ahvaz attack targeted Rouhani, who was in Tehran.
Compared to regional peers, Iran has suffered only sporadic attacks in recent years.More news: Rafale cloud thickens, India's multi-billion dollar warplane deal faces fresh scrutiny
On June 7, 2017, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks in Tehran on the parliament building and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini - the first inside Iran claimed by the Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic Strate group.