Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed the United States for instigating its allies in the Middle East to carry out the attack on an annual military parade in the city of Ahvaz.
Rouhani’s charge came as Tehran summoned diplomats from Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands, who it accused for harboring members of the al-Ahvazieh militant group, which claimed responsibility for the Saturday’s attack that killed 25 people and injured dozens more.
"All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America. It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes," Rouhani said before leaving for the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Rouhani did not name the "mercenary" US allies but he could be referring to regional foe Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Iran has previously blamed Saudi Arabia for supporting Arab separatists in the Islamic republic. Both countries have been at odds for decades for predominance in the region, supporting opposing sides in the civil wars in Yemen and Syria.
The UAE, whose envoy was also summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, denied the allegations.
The "formal incitement against the UAE from within Iran is unfortunate, and has escalated after the Ahvaz attack," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a tweet.
‘Look in the mirror’
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, rejected Rouhani’s accusations.
"He’s got the Iranian people protesting, every ounce of money that goes into Iran goes into his military. He has oppressed his people for a long time and he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that’s coming from," she told. "He can blame us all he wants. The thing he’s got to do is look in the mirror."
Ties between Iran and the US have worsened after President Donald Trump abandoned the multilateral Iran nuclear agreement and renewed sanctions on Tehran.>