A leading cleric in Iran has condemned the terrorist attack on a mosque, 1,600 kilometres southeast of the capital Tehran, saying that clues had emerged which indicated it may have been carried out by the United States and Israel.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department on Friday rejected the accusation.

Addressing a large congregation gathered at Tehran University campus for Friday prayers, Tehran’s Substitute Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami condemned the bombing of the mosque in the city of Zahedan in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan on Thursday night, which killed twenty five and injured 125 others.

The cleric said clues of the involvement of the U.S. and Israel in the recent bombing of a mosque in Zahedan were "discernable."

He said the powerful Islamic establishment in Iran "will surely identify the elements behind the terrorist act and punish them."

Saying that the terrorist act wounded the hearts of all Muslims who were mourning on the demise anniversary of Hazrat Zahra, the grand daughter of the holy Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad, Ayatollah Khatami said the bombing aimed at spoiling the positive outcomes of the recent visit of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to Kordestan Province.

Ayatollah Khatami said both Shiite and Sunni Muslims will, "through their vigilance, manage to foil the plot to pit the two branches of Islam against each other."

The U.S. on Friday rejected the accusation of being behind the bombing. Spokesman Ian Kelly at the State Department told reporters, "We do not sponsor any form of terrorism in Iran, and we continue to work with the international community to try and, to prevent any attacks against innocent civilians anywhere."

At the daily press briefing Friday a reporter pressed the question. "Can you say, you said that we do not sponsor any form of terrorist activity in Iran. Can you just say we had absolutely, the U.S. Government had nothing to do with this?"

Kelly responded, "We do not sponsor any form of terrorism in Iran."

"How about elsewhere? the reporter asked.

"Okay. We do not sponsor any form of terrorism anywhere in the world. Never have, never will," said the U.S. State department spokesman.

Meantime United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned the mosque bombing saying it was “despicable.”

“He extends his heartfelt condolences to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the families of the victims of this despicable act,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

Source: bignewsnetwork.com