ISIS Takes Credit For Iran Attacks, Several Deaths Reported
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Here is some of the sound captured around Iran's Parliament building, where authorities say four gunmen attacked today.
(SOUNDBITE OF GUNSHOTS)
INSKEEP: Iranian state media say at least 12 people have been killed. ISIS has claimed responsibility. There's also been a second attack on a shrine in Tehran today. And we're joined now by LA Times Tehran correspondent Ramin Mostaghim. Welcome to the program.
RAMIN MOSTAGHIM: Hello.
INSKEEP: What's it been like to be in Tehran today?
MOSTAGHIM: It's very sad to be in Tehran because people are under pressure. And they cannot (unintelligible) the public transportation. And actually, they have been advised by the police to avoid the subway or buses in the downtown because (unintelligible) terrorist activity.
INSKEEP: So they've been told to avoid mass transportation today. It sounds like a large part of this city of more than 14 million must be shut down, in effect then.
MOSTAGHIM: Yes, in fact, and they are being advised to keep away from the crowded areas. So it's - it's the biggest one - the biggest terrorist actions against Iranian society in the past decade, I think, the decade of the revolution. So it's quite, I mean, disappointing and the same time astonishing people - these people are (unintelligible). They cannot understand what's going on because, actually, the authorities (unintelligible) agents are playing down the catastrophe. On the other hand, the news on TV - local TV, international TV doesn't say so. So people are, I think, digesting the catastrophe happening.
INSKEEP: Let's - let's remind people that - that most of the media, particularly the TV, are controlled by the state in Iran. And you're saying they're playing down the scale of this catastrophe to some degree. Based on what you have been able to learn though, how did this standoff end at the Iranian Parliament, where multiple gunmen seem to have blasted their way past checkpoints, perhaps - according to one report - dressed as women. How did it end?
MOSTAGHIM: How can they can - I mean how they finished it...
MOSTAGHIM: The - the catastrophe, it - it took a few hours. In fact, four people were hostages, and two terrorists were inside the buildings. And then they tried just to kill them. I mean, the (unintelligible) agent tried just to gun them down by the snipers. But it was very difficult and complicated because the hostages were also in that position. Actually, two of them were killed in the - in the office of one of them, and gunned down by the terrorists. And so it was very difficult situation there. The sniper could not find the - the terrorists.
INSKEEP: And I have to stop you there, Ramin Mostaghim of the Los Angeles Times. I'm so sorry. We'll bring you back to learn more. Ramin Mostahim of the LA Times about an attack that left a dozen people dead in Tehran. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.