The double attack on Iran’s parliament and Khomeini mausoleum in Iran, killing seventeen and wounding approximately 50, was covered extensively by the media, described as the worst terrorist strike to hit the Islamic Republic in years. With the attack, began the blame game.
Despite the fact that ISIS claimed full responsibility (see siteintelgroup “IS claims through amaq its first attack in Iran”), even supplying a four minute video to back up their involvement (see washingtonpost), the knee-jerk reaction of Iran was to blame the US and the Saudis, further fueling hatred towards the US and Saudi Arabia (SA), and exploiting a horrific terror attack for political gains.
The media gave wide exposure to these fake Iranian claims of collaboration between ISIS and the US. The washingtonpost described fully the Iranian accusations against the US and SA stating factually “Iranian leaders accused the US and Saudi Arabia of supporting the Islamic State claimed dual attacks that killed 17 people in Tehran this week”, without a word of reservation. So also the CNN in an article titled “Iran’s Revolutionary guards blame Saudis for Tehran attacks”, describes the long time rivalry between Iran and SA, seemingly finding logical justification for the claim.
To connect the Saudi-Iran tension to the attack, while disregarding the obvious background of the Iran-ISIS battle in Syria and Iraq, would seem quite out of context. Yet many media outlets followed Iran’s lead on this.
For months on end Iran has been boasting its’ role as the “fighter against terrorism”, portraying itself as a partner to the US in counter-terrorism efforts, justifying via that their regional involvement in Syria and Iraq, and then all of a sudden in light of the attack forgetting their part in the fight against ISIS and blaming SA and the US. Surprisingly, as reported in reuters, the thousands mourning the victims of the attack did not express anti-ISIS slogans but chanted “death to Saudi Arabia”, “death to the US” and anti-Israel slogans. The supreme leader backed this up by reading a message at the funeral stating that the attacks “would increase hatred towards Saudi Arabia and the US” (see reuters).
The problem with the line taken by the Iranian establishment is the deflection of responsibility. Apparently it is not their long term cultivation of proxy extremist groups, their regional destabilizing activities, their military involvement in several regions in the Middle East at the source of the attack. It is the US and Saudi Arabia. When you breed extremism and terrorism, do not be surprised when it bites you in the rear end.