One Guard Dead, 5 Hurt in Attack as Iran Holds Anniversary

DUBAI, Feb 2 (Reuters) – One member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was killed and five were wounded in an attack on a base in southeastern Iran on Saturday, Iranian media reported, as the country holds official celebrations on the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution.

“A (paramilitary) Basij base in Nik Shahr came under … fire this morning and several from the Revolutionary Guards communications personnel who were wiring the base were hit,” Mohammad Hadi Marashi, provincial deputy governor for security affairs, told the state news agency IRNA.

“Five of the Guards personnel were wounded and one was martyred,” Marashi said, adding that anniversary events were proceeding peacefully.

The semi-official news agency Tasnim said Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni militant group, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack targeted a base of the Basij, a paramilitary force affiliated with the powerful Revolutionary Guards, in the city of Nik Shahr in Sistan-Baluchestan province, which has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and Sunni Muslim militants.

On Tuesday, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) claimed responsibility for two bombings that wounded three police officers in front of a police station in the city of Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Iran began on Friday ten days of state-sponsored celebrations marking the 1979 Islamic Revolution which deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a secular king allied to the West.

U.S. President Donald Trump last year pulled out of an international agreement under which Iran curbed its nuclear work in exchange for a sanctions relief. The reimposed sanctions led to a currency crash, rampant inflation and added to investors’ hesitancy about doing business there.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom Editing by Paul Tait and Louise Heavens)