The nearly simultaneous attacks claimed 12 lives and injured 42 people when a combination of suicide bombers and gunmen stormed Iran’s parliament and the shrine of the ‘father of the 1979 revolution’, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Ali Larijani, Iran’s Parliament Speaker, called the attacks “a cowardly act” and reportedly downplayed the tragedies as a “minor issue”. He said, “Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists, and they want to damage it.” Following his remarks, his fellow parliamentarians stood up and began shouting, “Death to America,” while pumping their fists in their air.
It’s common for Iran’s clerics and hardliners to chant, “Death to America,” during rallies and after Friday sermons, but the chant from Iran’s parliamentarians implies that they believe the United States was behind the attacks.
However, the Amaq News Agency reported that ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Still, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has previously stated his belief that the United States created the Islamic State, referred to as Daesh in the Middle East. Khamenei recently tweeted from his English-language Twitter account that the United States created and is supporting the Islamic State in order to “defame true Islam” and promote Sunni Wahhabism.
Khamenei claimed that the United States created and is promoting the Islamic State out of its hatred for Islam, as far back as 2015. “The present US officials are against the principles of Islam and, unlike their statements, they are after fomenting differences among Muslims, and its example is creating terrorist groups like Daesh (the Arabic acronym for ISIS) and other groups that have been created through the funding of the US affiliates and their political aids; they (the American officials) have caused the recent tragedies in the Muslim world,” Khamenei reportedly said, and added, “The Shiite or Sunni does not make any difference for the Americans; they are against any Muslim who wants to live in accordance with Islamic rules and make efforts to that end.”
Wednesday’s attack on Tehran ended after Iranian security guards and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) killed four of the militants.
Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), who was not only instrumental in helping with the Iran nuclear deal, but has advocated for the recognition of the Iranian regime’s legitimacy by the West, issued a statement demanding President Donald Trump stand alongside the Iranian regime following the attack: “We urge President Trump, members of the U.S. Congress and all nations around the world to condemn the attack in solidarity with the Iranian people without delay, as European officials have already done. Terrorism respects no borders, and we remind the Trump administration that Iranians held vigils for the American victims of terrorism after the September 11th attacks.”
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) condemned the attack, stating: “ISIS’s conduct clearly benefits the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei, who wholeheartedly welcomes it as an opportunity to overcome his regime’s regional and international impasse and isolation. The founder and the number one state sponsor of terror is thus trying the switch the place of murderer and the victim and portray the central banker of terrorism as a victim.” She also outlined the ways that terrorism in the region can be uprooted:
• The IRGC must be designated as a terrorist entity.
• The IRGC and paramilitary proxies of the Khamenei caliphate must be removed from Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
• The Organization of Islamic Cooperation must expel the mullahs’ regime and recognize the Iranian Resistance for ending religious fascism.