Ex-employee of state firm kills 3 in Iran shooting

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A recently fired employee of one of Iran’s largest state-owned financial groups started a shooting Wednesday at a former workplace in western Iran that left three people dead and five more, local media reported. People were injured and then committed suicide. .

Iranian media quoted police commander Colonel Farzad Yassemi as saying the attacker shot himself after taking the office hostage and shooting his former colleague.

Some of the injured are still in critical condition. The suspect was not immediately identified, and the commander did not elaborate on his motive or circumstances, but said it happened after he was fired.

The shooting took place at the Ilam branch of the Mosazaffan Foundation, a large conglomerate that manages major projects and businesses in the country. The U.S. Treasury Department approved the foundation in 2020, describing it as “a vital patronage network for Iran’s supreme leader” with about 160 stakes in key economic sectors such as energy, construction and mining.

Such mass shootings are still rare in Iran, where shotguns are the only weapons citizens can legally possess. Many people in rural Ilam province, especially in the low southwestern plains bordering Iraq, have shotguns.

The country’s economy has deteriorated and violence has escalated in recent years as tough U.S. sanctions have led to soaring inflation, rising unemployment and other pressures. Food prices have soared in recent weeks as the government revamped the table base subsidy system, sparking public outrage. As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on Iran, Suicide attempts also increased significantly.

Just earlier this week, a man killed himself after shooting his brother, wife and two other relatives near the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

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