Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed a “harsh response” to a bomb attack on crowds marking the anniversary of spymaster Qasem Soleimani’s assassination by the US.

The attack in Kerman in southern Iran killed 84 people and wounded many more.

The death toll was revised down on Thursday morning by the head of Iran’s emergency services from an earlier figure of 95.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Cruel criminals must know that they will be strongly dealt with from now on and undoubtedly there will be a harsh response,” Khamenei said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

President Ebrahim Raisi’s political deputy, Mohammad Jamshidi, blamed Israel and the US. However the US said it had no indication that Israel was involved and dismissed any suggestion that Washington was involved.

Suspicion may fall on Arab separatists and Sunni jihadist groups like Islamic State (IS), who have carried out attacks on civilians and security forces in the country in recent years.

At the time, IS welcomed the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, whose militias fought against the group in Iraq for years.

Soleimani was seen as the most powerful figure in Iran after the supreme leader before he was killed in a US drone strike in neighbouring Iraq in 2020.

Wednesday’s attack comes amid heightened tensions in the region after the deputy leader of the Iran-backed Palestinian group, Hamas, was killed in an apparent Israeli drone strike in Lebanon.

Footage broadcast by Iranian state TV showed large crowds were taking part in a procession along a road lined with banners featuring Qasem Soleimani when the explosions happened.

People could be heard screaming and then seen running away in panic after one of the blasts.

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