Four Sunni militant groups in Iran

LONDON • While the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said it was responsible for the attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on Wednesday, other Sunni militant groups in Iran have long carried out periodic attacks on military and civilian targets.

The Arab minorities who mainly live in Iran's oil-rich south-western Khuzestan province and Sunni Baluchis in Sistan-Baluchestan in the country's south-east say they are deprived of decent living standards and some civil rights.

These are the main Sunni militant groups in Iran:


The group, whose name means the Army of Justice in Arabic, has carried out several attacks on Iranian security forces mainly in Sistan-Baluchestan. It claimed responsibility in April for attacks that killed 10 Iranian border guards near Pakistan.


The group called Soldiers of God, which also has bases in Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for bombings in the last decade that have killed scores of Iranians. It is believed to be significantly weakened after its leader Abdolmalek Rigi was executed by Iran in 2010.


Ansar al-Furqan (or Partisans of the Criterion) has threatened to carry out suicide attacks on Iranian economic and military centres in revenge for the government executing Sunni prisoners.


The Mohiuddin al Nasser Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, has claimed responsibility for attacks in Iran. It claimed it has blown up oil pipelines in Khuzestan in recent years.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Four Sunni militant groups in Iran'. Print Edition | Subscribe