TEHRAN (AFP) -Britain moved quickly to condemn a deadly bomb attack in an ethnic-Arab dominated city in southwest Iran and repeated its denial of any link to a wave of unrest in the oil-rich region.
"The British Embassy expresses its revulsion at and condemnation of the terrorist attacks in Ahvaz," the embassy said in a statement on Sunday.
"On behalf of the British Government and people, we extend our condolences to the families of the bereaved, the injured and all those involved. The British Government condemns all terrorist activity unequivocally."
Two bombs blamed on "terrorists" killed four people and wounded 90 on Saturday in a market in Ahvaz. The blasts occurred shortly before dusk, when shoppers crowd commercial areas to buy food for iftar — or the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Ahvaz is the capital of the oil-rich province of Khuzestan and situated close to the border with British-occupied southern Iraq, and the area has been the scene of unrest in recent months.
"There has been speculation in the past about alleged British involvement in Khuzestan. We reject these allegations. Any linkage between the British Government and these terrorist outrages is without foundation," the British embassy statement said.
"As we have made clear officially to the Government of Iran, the British Government and British forces in Iraq stand ready to help in anyway we can to prevent attacks of this kind or identify those responsible and bring them to justice."