Iran has been conspicuously (and hypocritically) vocal in condemning the wave of terror attacks which has hit Western Europe in recent weeks. After last month’s “lone wolf” attack in Munich, as after last year’s deadly attacks in France, Iranian officials were widely quoted speaking out against terrorism “in any form and place,” and calling for the fight against it to become the “top priority by all countries in an international consensus.”
And yet, we already know that Iran does not define terrorism in the same way as the international community – selectively discerning, as it does, between terrorism and what it calls “resistance,” or the terrorism it sponsors and perpetrates, both on its own and via proxies – making its statements, as ever, contradictory.
And so, how ironic it was that on the very same week that Iranian officials issued such outspoken condemnations of terrorism, Tehran made headlines for more sinister terror-related reasons. In one instance, three alleged al-Qaeda members were sanctioned by the US after using Iran as a base to raise funds and acquire weapons; while The Wall Street Journal’s report on the matter addressed Iran’s association of al-Qaeda with the US, it did not delve into Iran’s deeper terrorist ties. Meanwhile in Argentina, a judge requested the arrest of Ali Akbar Velayeti, adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who also stands accused of masterminding the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires – the worst terrorist attack Argentina has ever known.
How timely it was that the Saudi FM Adel Al Jubeir, at a speech on Terrorism, hosted by Egmont Research Center (organized by Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) was taped on camera surveying, scoffing and condemning Iran for its deep involvement in global terror.
It was, therefore, an apt reminder (particularly for news outlets parroting Iran’s apparent condemnation) that author Robert Spencer recently published in The New York Post – that not only has Iran not abandoned its call for terror attacks against the West, it also has more cash available, thanks to sanctions relief, to sponsor and carry such schemes out.