September 28, 2023

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Terrorists involved in Shah Cheragh attack attend first court hearing

TEHRAN – On Monday, three terrorists involved in the August terrorist attack on the Shah Cheragh shrine had their first court hearing in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. 

The attorneys of the defendants, families of victims as well as eyewitnesses attended the hearing judged by Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati. 

The representative of Fars Province’s General and Revolutionary Prosecutor accused the prime suspect, Rahmatollah Nowruzov from Tajikistan, of moharebeh (waging war on God), corruption on earth, and membership in the Daesh terrorist group with the intention of acting against Iran’s security.

The two other defendants, Habibollah Arabzadeh and Amrollah Nazari were accused of colluding with Nowruzov to help carry out his heinous crimes. 

The prime defendant, providing a detailed explanation about how he prepared for the attack, claimed he was drafted into Daesh through a messaging app. His first meeting with a Daesh agent allegedly happened in Turkey.

“I was under the guidance of someone named Zeid after entering Turkey. He helped me enter Iran illegally and then connected me to people inside the country. I went to Saravan and from there I traveled to Pakistan,” said the terrorist. 

Nowruzov, nicknamed Aslamyar, confessed that he received training in an “unknown” place in Afghanistan where he was taught how to work with weapons. He entered Iran again and moved to Shiraz where he spent his days observing the Shah Cheragh shrine for at least a month. The two other defendants were his key supporters during this time. 

“I re-connected with Daesh and after pledging allegiance to the group’s leader, I carried out the terrorist attack on the evening of August 13th,” Nowruzov conceded, adding he didn’t think he would end up in detention. “I thought I would get killed,” he said. 

The Tajik national was planning to kill as many people as possible.

He said his intention was to “continue the operation until the last bullet”.  He was also carrying 1.5 liters of gasoline in his backpack, planning to set worshippers on fire. Luckily, he was arrested before he could put the fuel to use. 

No verdict was issued at the end of the hearing. However, some individuals linked to the attack have already been tried and received punishment. No details have been released about the exact role of the two other defendants either.

The August attack on the shrine, which resulted in the death of two people, was the second of the kind in less than a year. The first attack occurring in October of last year, killed 15 pilgrims and injured dozens of others. Daesh was responsible for both assaults. The group was largely defeated in Iraq and Syria during the late 2010s by Iranian-led armed forces. 


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