London, 13 Jun – Behnam Ben Taleblu, from the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, wrote an op-ed for Track Persia in which he dissected the strange and disjointed response from members of the Iranian Regime following last week’s terrorist attacks in Iran by ISIS.
Some officials, like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, have tried to downplay the attacks, which have so far killed 17 and injured 40, and defend the Iranian military presence in other Middle Eastern countries.
There were five attackers, according to both the Regime and ISIS, who were subsequently arrested but worryingly, the Regime has not been clear on who the attackers were or where they came from.
Reza Seifollahi, the deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), has stated that the attackers came from all over Iran, whilst the Imam of the Sunni-Kurdish village of Paveh, Kermanshah has claimed that many attackers came from there.
There are even conflicting stories by officials surrounding the attack which Taleblu reports could indicate that the Regime was caught off guard.
The Interior Ministry claim the attack started at 10.30 am local time with four attackers dressed in women’s clothing, while the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claim that three attackers opened fire at 10.15 am while security guards at the Regime’s Parliament checked bags.
Worse still are the allegations from the Iranian officials that Saudi Arabia and the US was somehow involved, with ministers taking comments out of context and presenting them as proof, while Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, said that they couldn’t be sure if the two countries were involved.
Taleblu wrote: “Regime officials claimed the recent Arabic Islamic American Summit in Riyadh allegedly constitutes proof of this sponsorship. Following that narrative, Brigadier General Nejat claimed last week’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Saudi officials implicated Washington and Riyadh in the attack. Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif similarly cited the Saudi Defense Minister’s call last month to “bring the fight” to Iran as proof.”
What does seem clear is that the attackers joined the so-called Islamic State and traveled to Raqqa and Mosul meet their fellow terrorists. They returned to Iran last August under the command of Abu Ayesheh, who was killed by the Regime’s security services last year. It is then that the attackers began plotting this attack.
Taleblu wrote: “The Islamic State has recently campaigned for violence against the Islamic Republic. In a March video, the group’s Iraqi Wilayat Diyala branch threatened to attack Iran and called on Iranian Sunnis to rise. This was followed by additional calls for violence in the group’s propaganda.”
Iran has now increased its troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but if it really wants to defeat the terrorists, it needs to stop funding and training terrorists.