During the past few years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been echoing the importance of fighting terrorist groups supported by Saudi Arabia and engineered by its Wahhabi ideology but all players have turned their deaf ears. Iran had warned repeatedly that the world will taste that very same bitterness of Wahhabi terrorism and killing if major players remain unperturbed and do not take major action together along with Iran, Russia and Syria to fight terrorism. Tehran repeatedly called on Saudi Arabia for dialogue and mutual cooperation to fight the waves of terror but the latter had refused time after time. Recently and during an extensive televised interview in May 2017, Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman slammed the door on any prospect of dialogue with Iran.
Saudi Arabia seems to have taken green light to target Iran, especially after the rift between the Kingdom and Qatar, which has assured the latter’s keenness on preserving good relations with Iran and its opposition to the Saudi policies in the region. Saudi FM, as reported by al-Arabiya English, said this morning that “Iran must be punished for its (alleged) interference in the region.”
Today, the Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini and Iran’s Parliament (known as the Majlis) have come under armed attack early on Wednesday, but the news is no surprise.
During the past few months, Iran has upped its security measures and has been anticipating such attacks. In October 2016, the IRGC killed four of the terrorists, including their commander, and injured two others in the city of Saravan in Sistan and Balouchestan province in Southeastern Iran. Earlier in September 2016, the Iranian intelligence and security forces dismantled a team of 12 terrorists sent by Saudi Arabia to foment insecurity inside the country.
Today Wednesday, two women and two men were reported by Iranian news agencies to have carried out their attacks in the premises of the Mausoleum while at least four men clashed with the Iranian police and security forces in and around the premises of the Majlis. Multiple casualties were reported.
Reports said that one of the assailants has been killed, another has blown himself up while a third has been injured and arrested. Only a couple of hours after the violence, the Wahhabi Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the Tehran attacks through its propaganda outlet Amaq. According to Iranian security sources, the situation is under control, and anti-terror forces were quickly deployed in the Majlis.
The attacks took place less than two weeks after Iranian incumbent president Hassan Rouhani was re-elected in a democratic process and targeted a religious and political institution; the two major bodies of Iran’s system of governance; by that clearly sending a message to the Islamic Republic.
The attacks obviously will not change the position of Iran on the Syria war or fighting terrorism and will not alter its foreign policies. In fact, the attacks have proven that Iran made the right decision supporting the Syrian government against terrorist groups in first place.
Saudi Arabia has not only been nurturing terrorist groups but has also been voicing support to cause instability in Iran. In July 2016, during the annual gathering of the MKO terrorist group in Paris, the former director of Saudi intelligence Prince Turki al-Faisal was among the participants and gave a speech that raised a few eyebrows. Al-Faisal confidently assured that the Iranian government will be toppled.
At the time Iran is showered with accusations on harboring terrorism in the region especially since no attacks had taken place on its territory, Saudi Arabia seems to still get away with its funding and support of terrorist groups active across the world.
Despite evidence like the secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton back then saying that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” the US government decides to turn a blind eye to its oil-rich ally and rather milks it as President Donald Trump flew to the kingdom to come back home with an arms deal worth almost $110 billion and set to reach $350 billion over 10 years, plus a series of other deals.
Today, France, Britain and the US should be held responsible for the attacks that hit the Iranian capital, just like they should bear responsibility for the attacks that had hit Europe where the terrorists came back home to roost.
The despicable attacks come as part of a clear intent and a narrative that is trying to dismantle Iran’s identity and deprive it from its right of being an independent and sovereign state. Yet, Iran stands up to its rights and simultaneously supports oppressed people elsewhere. The Islamic Republic owns a sophisticated security system which is good at handling its internal security and constitutes an efficient apparatus. A big question mark remains with regards to Wahhabi ideology prompted by Saudi Arabia in the region and to whether there will be any change in the world agenda of countering terrorism.