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Fact Box: Terrorist Attacks In Iran

Police and journalists at the scene after the British Embassy was fired upon on 3 September 2003 This week's terrorist bombings in Tehran and Ahvaz are just the latest in a long line of attacks the country has experience in recent history:


21 November: The British Embassy in Tehran is hit by a
firebomb in broad daylight. The attack causes some damage, but no

15 September: Two shots are fired by two unidentified men on a
motorcycle at the British Embassy residential compound in Tehran.
This is the second such attack in the last 10 days. No one is injured
in the shooting incident. The attack takes place amid diplomatic
tensions between the United Kingdom and Iran over the arrest in
Britain of a former Iranian diplomat, who is accused of involvement
in a 1994 bombing in Argentina.


7 January: Five rockets are fired at the general command of
the Internal Security Forces in northern Tehran. Several people are
either killed or injured. The Iraqi-based Mujahedin Khalq
Organization (MKO) claims the attack.


15 August: Armed militants kidnap four tourists -- three
Spanish, and one Italian -- in the southeastern Iranian city of
Kerman. The hostages are later released unharmed with no one claiming

15 June: Three armed assailants kidnap three Italian steel
experts in Bam, in southeastern Iran. On 20 June, the hostages are
released unharmed.

3 June: The Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) claims
responsibility for a huge explosion that destroys the headquarters of
the Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office in Tehran. The office was used
to torture and interrogate criminals. Scores of staffers are killed
or wounded when the building is demolished.

2 June: Two people are killed and two injured in an explosion
at the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran. Mujahedin Khalq
Organization (MKO) claim responsibility, stating that the attack was
carried out in retaliation for the slaying of eight members of the
group in a clash with Iranian security forces in November 1997.

2 March: A number of armed men attack the house of Lebanese
ambassador to Tehran, Shaykh Munir Talhuq. A guard is stabbed, then
shot by the attackers, and later dies of his injuries.


20 June: A bomb explodes at the Imam Reza mausoleum in Meshed
in northeastern Iran. Twenty-five people are killed and over 70
injured. Hundreds of people had gathered to commemorate the death of
Imam Hussein, the third Shi'ite Muslim Imam and descendant of the
Prophet Muhammad. The People's Mujahedin, an Iraqi-based opposition
group, claims responsibility stating that the bombing was carried out
to commemorate the anniversary of the group's founding on 20 June

4 June: Unknown assailants kidnap a Chinese citizen and two
Iranians working on a uranium-mining project in Iran. The Interior
Ministry in Tehran believes that the three have access to
particularly sensitive information concerning Iran's nuclear program.


14 February: A death sentence is issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini against the writer Salman Rushdie for alleged blasphemy
against Islam in his book "The Satanic Verses," published in Britain.
A number of threats and bombing attacks are carried out against
bookshops and publishers. There are also related attacks in Pakistan,
the United States, and western Europe -- most carried out by those
countries' local residents.


6 July: Hijackers seize an Iranian jetliner with 371
passengers on board and force it to fly to Kuwait. The hijackers
apparently boarded the plane disguised as volunteer soldiers and
checked passengers' boarding cards and identity documents. The
hijackers fly to France, where they surrender at Orly International
Airport. They claim they are Mujahedin guerrillas opposed to the rule
of Ayatollah Khomeini and say they want to draw attention to the
number of executions in Iran and the plight of political prisoners


7 September: Three gunmen hijack an Italian jetliner to
protest the disappearance of their religious leader. The plane
carried 185 people. The hijackers were members of the Imam Sadr
movement and residents of a Shi'ite suburb in Tehran. The hijackers
commandeered the DC-8 jet over Cyprus. Denied permission to land in
France, they put down at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. The gunmen release
147 passengers two hours after touching down and later let the last
28 passengers leave the plane. They then fly to Iran where they