After trying to blame America and Israel for the ISIS suicide bombing at the memorial for terror general Soleimani, Iran is struggling to stay on message.
The Tasnim News Agency, associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran, claimed on Wednesday that ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in Iran under ‘Zionist guidance.’
The agency reported that “a few hours after the implementation of the operation, the Zionist regime ordered the ISIS caliphate to accept the responsibility for this action.”
State TV showed crowds gathered at dozen cities across Iran, including Kerman, chanting: “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”.
The lie is obvious because this isn’t the first major ISIS attack in Iran.
The Islamic State, whose affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan, has repeatedly threatened Iran over what it says is its polytheism and apostasy, has claimed responsibility for several previous attacks on Iran.
The most recent came in October 2022, when a gunman killed 13 people at a shrine in the city of Shiraz. An Islamic State statement claiming responsibility for that attack said it had aimed to kill Shiites — framing the shootings as the continuation of an ancient clash between Sunnis and Shiites, whose religious schism goes back to a seventh-century dispute over the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad.
The Shiraz shooting followed twin attacks in June 2017 on Tehran, where gunmen opened fire inside Parliament and suicide bombers simultaneously struck near the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s former supreme leader and founder of Iran’s clerical state, killing 17.
ISIS has been following a consistent playbook of escalating conflict with Shiites. First in Iran, the group then known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, began massacring Shiites, bombing their mosques and slaughtering them, refusing calls by Osama bin Laden, who wanted to maintain Al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran (the current leader of Al Qaeda now is based out of Iran).
ISIS-K in Afghanistan, the group reportedly behind this latest attack, adopted the ISIS playbook with constant attacks on Shiites in Afghanistan and has been described as being behind the Soleimani attack.
What made all of this possible though was that the Shiite majority in Iraq, in hock to Iran, and the Shiite theocracy in Iran insisted on ruling through Islamic law and repressing not only non-Muslims, but Sunnis.
Had the Shiites in Iraq stuck to America’s non-sectarian proposals for a government, the whole ISIS horror show could have been avoided. Instead religious wars followed, in Iraq, in Syria (ruled by the Shiite-affiliated Alawites and the Assad family) and then in Iran, with Afghanistan being used as a jumping-off point for attacks.
What’s happening here is a direct consequence of Islamic theocracy and Iran has no one to blame for it but its own religious revolution which has not only pitted Iran’s Islamic regime against the non-Muslim world, but even its own Sunni Muslim minority.
Truly a religion of peace.