Terrorist attack in Tehran: Don’t be fooled

Terrorist attack in Tehran: Don’t be fooled, American Thinker, Hamid Bahrami, June 13, 2017

After the failure of the IRGC’s favorite candidate in the recent presidential election in Iran, the entire theocracy is at an impasse, fearing upcoming uprisings and anti-regime protests by the Iranian people.  Therefore, the IRGC, “the protector of the Islamic revolution and the theocratic system,” needs to create a security atmosphere to suppress popular protests in order to crush the domestic dissent and manage the internal feuding among different factions of the regime.

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Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian regime’s parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran on Wednesday morning, June 7.  The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Despite ISIS claiming responsibility for the attacks, when the dust settles, they serve the interests of the theocratic regime.  

Several questions remain unanswered in the aftermath of the attacks, which the Iranian regime must answer.  For example, how could the attackers just walk into the parliament protected by the IRGC and plainclothes agents, when even journalists and visitors are not allowed to bring a pen or mobile phone?  Why does the suicide bomber attacking the mausoleum detonate the suicide vest in an empty park?

The Iranian regime needs to pretend to be a victim of terrorism.

Considering the fact that the U.S. has increased pressure on the theocratic regime through a looming designation of the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, the regime in Tehran needs to deceive the international community – e.g., by diverting attention from Tehran’s own terrorist activities in the region.

Senior regime officials and IRGC commanders are already citing the attacks to increase Tehran’s malign and destabilizing intervention in the Middle East by dispatching more forces to Syria and Iraq.

It is worth pointing out that on the same day that the attacks happened, the U.S. Senate had planned to vote for new sanctions over the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, human rights record, and funding of terrorist organizations involved in the Middle East.  Not surprisingly, the proponents of appeasing the regime in Tehran and its lobbyists in the U.S. pointed to the attacks and demanded that the senators abandon the debate and cancel the vote that would put more pressure on Tehran to alter Iran’s unacceptable behavior at home and abroad.  However, the senators saw through this deceptive claim and voted 72 to 7 to move forward on the sanctions bill.

President Trump in a tweet rightly distinguished between the Iranian people and their theocratic oppressors, highlighting that the regime is the main sponsor of terrorism and that the real victims of these attacks are the innocent people of Iran.

The Iranian regime was furious and tried to deflect this reality by blaming the U.S. and its Gulf ally Saudi Arabia for the ISIS attacks.  It is interesting to note that immediately after the attacks, one of the Iranian regime’s staunchest lobby organizations in the U.S., officially known as the NIAC, begun to justify this line.  “And you’ll have a context that makes it possible for IRGC to seemingly connect Trump to Saudi, and Saudi to the #Tehran terror attack,” Trita Parsi, NIAC president, said on Twitter.

After the failure of the IRGC’s favorite candidate in the recent presidential election in Iran, the entire theocracy is at an impasse, fearing upcoming uprisings and anti-regime protests by the Iranian people.  Therefore, the IRGC, “the protector of the Islamic revolution and the theocratic system,” needs to create a security atmosphere to suppress popular protests in order to crush the domestic dissent and manage the internal feuding among different factions of the regime.

The ISIS attacks provide a timely pretext to do just that, especially at a time that has seen growing popular protests in various Iranian cities, in particular in front of the parliament in Tehran, against poor living conditions, the abysmal economic situation, and bankruptcy of Caspian, an IRGC-affiliated credit and financial institution that saw hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iranians losing their life savings.  Now the Intelligence Ministry has banned any protests or gatherings in front of the parliament, citing the attacks.

It is a known fact that during the civil war in Syria, only the Iranian regime has profited from ISIS’s existence.  Similarly, it is now a result of the claimed ISIS attacks in Tehran to intensify domestic repression and step up malign intervention in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, the Iranian people are as usual the real victims of the theocracy’s Machiavellian policy.  The West should not fall for this deception and allow the regime to depict itself as a victim of terrorism.  In the aftermath of the attacks, the international community must stand with the Iranian people and not their theocratic oppressors by supporting the former’s democratic aspirations and holding the regime accountable for its support for terrorism.

Freelance journalist Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner in Iran.  He is a human rights and political activist.

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