The semi-official Fars news agency tweeted and then deleted the video on Tuesday, shortly after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Riyadh and Abu Dhabi for the attack on an IRGC military parade in the city of Ahvaz on Saturday.
The video, which has been described by eagle-eyed Iran watchers, shows file footage of previous ballistic missile attacks launched by the IRGC and then a graphic of a sniper riflescope homing in on Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The video also threatened Israel.
Over these disturbing images, a clip from a Khamenei speech in April can be heard: “The era of the hit-and-run has expired. A heavy punishment is underway.”
Iran has twice fired its ballistic missiles in anger in recent years, not counting the missiles that the Houthis have fired at Saudi Arabia. Once in 2017 at supposed ISIS militants in Syria and once earlier this month at a meeting of Iranian Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq.
The IRGC, a paramilitary force that only answers to Khamenei has sole control over Iran’s ballistic missile programme, which has a range of 2,000 kilometres. This means that they can strike Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, as well as regional American military bases.
The Saturday attack in Iran was carried out by militants dressed in Iranian military uniform who opened fire on the rows of soldiers. At least 29 are reported dead and another 60 are injured.
Iranian State TV reported that 22 people have been arrested in connection with the attack, while the five who were shooting have been killed. Hossein Salami, the IRGC’s acting commander, blamed the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States and vowed to take revenge. He did not say that he believed the UAE were involved.
While Khamenei said also linked the attack to those three countries and said that the attack shows that Iran has “a lot of enemies”. The latter part is at least true, Iran does have a lot of enemies and its all their own making.