Iranian mourners commemorating the fourth anniversary of IRGC General Qassem Soleimani’s death by a US airstrike in Iraq on 3 January (MEES, 3 January 2020) were targeted by twin explosions that led to 84 fatalities according to Iran’s Interior Ministry. The bombings, in the general’s home city of Kerman in the southeast of the country, were the deadliest such attacks on Iranian soil in decades.

In the 24 hours before the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed responsibility on 4 January, a number of senior Iranian officials pointed the finger at Israel and the US, underlining the heightened risk that the current febrile atmosphere can result in escalatory missteps. (CONTINUED - 1431 WORDS)