TEHRAN, April 25 (UPI) -- The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, blamed U.S. forces Saturday for the deaths of 72 Iranian pilgrims killed in terrorist attacks in Iraq.
Khamenei warned the terrorists that they will face consequences for their actions, the Fars News Agency reported. But he said the United States bears the greater portion of blame.
"The U.S. military and security forces who have occupied an Islamic country under the pretext of fighting terrorism, slaughtered tens of thousands of people and increased insecurity day by day are the main culprits in this crime and similar ones," he said.
At least 114 people were killed in suicide bombings Thursday and Friday, one aimed at a highway restaurant and the other at a Shiite shrine. Many of the victims were Iranians on pilgrimage to Shiite holy places in Iraq.
The bombings are believed to be the work of Sunni terrorists, officials said.