Good evening. Tomorrow's most significant story might be the aftermath from two major explosions in southeast Iran that killed at least 20, including members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard. The Jundallah, a Sunni rebel group based in Baluchistan (and rumored to be supported by Western powers), has taken responsibility. Three months ago, the IRGC captured a key Jundallah commander, Abdolmalek Rigi, who (he said while captured) had been on his way to meet with American officials about a secret collaboration to stir up unrest in Iran. The IRGC blames the U.S. for today's bombing. Iran wants Jundallah declared a terrorist group.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued this statement tonight:
I condemn in the strongest possible terms today's terrorist attacks claimed by Jundallah that targeted Iranians at a mosque in the Sistan-va Baluchistan province of Iran. The United States extends its sympathy to the families and loved ones of those injured and killed. We also call for the perpetrators of this horrific attack to be held accountable for their actions. The United States condemns all forms of terrorism and sectarian-driven violence, wherever it occurs, and stands with the victims of these appalling acts. This attack, along with the recent attacks in Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Algeria, underscores the global community's need to work together to combat terrorist organizations that threaten the lives of innocent civilians all around the world.
MANCHIN DAY: West Virginia's Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, will introduce Sen. Robert Byrd's successor tomorrow at 2:30 pm EST. His choice is narrowed to three finalists. The betting is on Anne Barth, longtime state director for Byrd. She knows the states, the issues, and can channel Byrd's legacy in an effective way.
BUSINESS BEAT: The White House's communications problem in a nutshell: