February 13, 2019
Iran’s state broadcaster reports that nine people have been arrested in the Persian Gulf Imam Khomeini port (Mahshahr) who it says had killed two police officers.
Heydar Abbas-Zadeh commander of police in the oil-rich Khuzestan province has said that two military assault rifles and a car used in the attack were recovered during the arrest. He added that the suspects have confessed to several attacks on military and police targets in Khuzestan, without providing any details. He did not say when the arrest took place
Khuzestan is home to Iran’s ethnic Arab community and a number of militant groups claiming to fight for the rights of Iranian-Arabs have claimed responsibility for armed attacks in the past.
On February 9 one soldier and an officer who were on patrol in a police car in Imam Khomeini port were fired upon and died in the attack. Afterwards, the authorities said that “Al-Ahwazieh” group was responsible for the attack.
On February 5 and 6 there were two other attacks on the police and the army personnel; one in Khuzestan, which killed a soldier and another in the pre-dominantly Sunni province of Sistan-Baluchistan, on the border with Pakistan.
On February 7, Iran’s intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi said that at the onset of the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution several “sabotage plots” were discovered and “neutralized”.
The intelligence minister did not provide any details, but he and other Islamic Republic security officials have often made such claims particularly in the past three years, most often without presenting any evidence or follow-up news about results of investigations, arrested suspects or trials.