Assailants have rocked Tehran by attacking the Parliament and the shrine of the venerated revolutionary leader, Ayatullah Khomeni.
The state media reported, gunmen went on a shooting spree in the parliament, where at least one attacker detonated a suicide bomb. At the same time, a gun and bomb attack targeted the Ayatollah Khomeini mausoleum on the southern fringes of the Iranian capital.
The Islamic State group’s media arm Amaq claimed the attack. The Islamic State is against the Shia sect of Islam, of which Iran is the bastion. Besides, Ayatullah Khomeni is a cult figure for shites across the globe.
Attacks of this kind are very rare in a highly secured and peaceful capital city of Tehran. This could have been a blowback to Iran’s fight against the virulent group in Syria and Iraq.
The attacks have reportedly resulted in 5 deaths with several being critically wounded. Iran’s emergency services said they were dealing with 33 injured from the attacks and that two people had died from their injuries in hospital.
According to local media reports the Parliament was in session as the attacks took place, with live footage showing members continuing with routine business despite gunshots in the surrounding areas.
The attack is a blowback of Iran’s drive against the Islamic State. Though, the US is also fighting the ISIS but it is heavily against Iran’s backing of the Assad regime in Syria
The Faras News Agency reported that four unidentified armed assailants started a shooting spree at Imam Khomeini’s shrine this morning. Three of the assailants shot tens of rounds at the people visiting the shrine, while the fourth one detonated herself in a suicide attack in front of a police station opposite the shrine. Fresh dispatches by FNA from Southern Tehran said the suicide attacker was a female. At least two, including one worker, have been killed in the bomb blast and the crossfire between the security forces and the terrorists.
The US is in a quandary
The attack is a blowback of Iran’s drive against the Islamic State. Though, the US is also fighting the ISIS but it is heavily against Iran’s backing of the Assad regime in Syria. Hence Iran’s increased ante against IS will be interpreted differently by USA and all its Muslim allies. It is important to mention that the Riyadh Summit was used to create a united front against Iran. In his address in the summit last month President Trump called upon every state to confront Iran.
“But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three — safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran,” he said.
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” he added.
Emboldened Trump’s speech several Arab countries including KSA broke ties with Qatar ostensibly because of its ties with Iran. This gave traction to the view that Iran is being targeted by the US under the garb of fighting terrorism.
“Giving a direction to the Saudi-led alliance he stressed “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.”
Emboldened by this several Arab countries including KSA broke ties with Qatar ostensibly because of its ties with Iran. This gave traction to the view that Iran is being targeted by the US under the garb of fighting terrorism .
With ISIS claiming the responsibility of the attack, it will be interesting to see how US will react to the incident. The US considers ISIS an enemy but it remains to be seen if this attack will be condemned or not? Will the US consider cooperating with Iran to defeat a common threat?
The Kremlin Wednesday condemned gun and suicide bomb attacks in Tehran claimed by ISIS and called for greater coordination in the fight against the group.
“Moscow decisively condemns such terrorist attacks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that “the continuation of a series of terror attacks again underlines the need for coordinated actions in the fight against terror and ISIS.”
The US who has already declined cooperating with Russia to defeat ISIS in Afghanistan, is in a predicament now. Failure to condemn and cooperate may give the popular anti-Iranian impression more credence. Besides, it will cast aspersions on US’s willingness to go all-out against the menace of terrorism.
Regional tensions will stoke up because Iran will fire all cylinders against ISIS, which would be taken differently by US and its allies.