A car bomb exploded in a busy street near the central market during the morning rush hour Sunday, killing at least 12 people and wounding more than 35, IRNA, the national news agency, reported.
No one claimed responsibility for the bomb, estimated by police to have contained 110 pounds of explosives. IRNA blamed “lackeys of U.S. imperialism.”
(In Paris, the Iranian leftist opposition group, the Moujahedeen, condemned the bombing and denied responsibility.)
Most of the victims were street vendors or passengers in a bus parked near the scene of the explosion. The blast, which occurred at 8:15 a.m., started fires that destroyed eight shops and a warehouse. Twenty buildings were damaged and windows were shattered 250 yards away, police said.
The bomb ripped through the maze of narrow, store-lined streets close to Imam Khomeini Square, where a bomb planted in a truck killed dozens of people three years ago. The area, a poor neighborhood, is one of the oldest in the Iranian capital.
It was the biggest car bomb attack in Tehran since last August, when 18 people were killed in an explosion outside the city’s railroad station.