An official, speaking anonymously to Al Arabiya, said that five Iranians had been arrested after they were found with incriminating equipment near the area where the blast happened. He said: “After the explosion and during the investigation and inspection on Friday night, the Iraqi intelligence forces arrested five Iranians who had explosives and remote control devices at the area near the blast site, in the eastern Abbasid.”

He added that the arrestees were taken away for interrogation, but the intelligence headquarters were surrounded by Iran-backed militia groups.

He said: “The security forces transferred the Iranian detainees to the Karbala intelligence headquarters for interrogation. But minutes later dozens of Brigade Ali Akbar and Badr Organization militias supported by Iran surrounded the headquarters of the intelligence of Karbala.”

According to the source, members of the militia groups ordered that the five Iranian people who were arrested were released immediately. However, the head of intelligence refused their demand and said that he would return the men to authorities in Baghdad, emphasising that this was not going to be negotiated.

Faced with this news, the militias then proceeded to force their way into the intelligence buildings and took the 5 men that were being held. They also forcefully took the head of the intelligence department that refused to release the detainees.

Although they released the head of intelligence in the early hours of Saturday morning, it is still unknown what has happened to the five Iranian men. For this reason, many have suspicions about Iran’s involvement in the bombing in the city.

Iran’s media was very keen to emphasise that Iranian nationals were nowhere near where the blast happened, but apart from this there has been a general media blackout with regards to the attack.

Suspicions have also been raised with regards to the timing of the bombing that look place in Tehran last week. On Wednesday, the shrine to the founder of the Islamic Republic Khomeini and also the city’s parliament building came under attack. Many believe that the attacks were orchestrated by Iran so it could portray itself as a victim of terrorism.

In international news, numerous Arab powers have severed ties with Qatar which has been a big supporter of terrorism. It has sent huge sums of money to the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces – an umbrella organisation of militias.