Tondar’s homepage. (Screenshot tondar.org)

Iran: We’re Holding Leader of US-based ‘Terrorist’ Group

Tehran claims to have arrested the head of a Los Angeles-based group hoping to restore a monarchy in Iran, accusing him and the organization of being behind a bombing in the southern city of Shiraz. “Jamshid Sharmahd, ringleader of the terrorist Tondar [Thunder] group, who directed armed and terrorist acts in Iran from America, was arrested following a complicated operation and is now in powerful hands,” the Intelligence Ministry announced over the weekend in a statement. There was no mention of where, when or how he was detained. An Iranian television report showed a man, apparently in custody, identifying himself as Sharmahd. The Tondar group did not confirm the arrest but did say in a social media posting that it would “continue to fight even in the absence of a commander.” A spokesperson at the US State Department said only that Washington was “aware” of the reports and urged Tehran “to be fully transparent and abide by all international legal standards.” The Iranians say Sharmahd was behind a 2008 blast at a religious center in Shiraz that left 14 people dead and 215 wounded. Authorities executed three individuals for the attack. Tondar, meanwhile, says it was behind a 2016 refinery explosion and a 2019 blast at a religious seminary used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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