Iran’s Supreme Leader has issued a brief but pointed statement on last Saturday’s attacks in London, declaring that Europe has brought the Islamic State’s terrorism on itself through its intervention in the Middle East.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s office posted on Twitter:
ISIS is leaving Iraq & Syria for European countries & elsewhere. This is the inferno they set up & has now backfired on them. #LondonAttacks
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) June 5, 2017
While the line echoes that of the Assad regime and the Iranian military, it marks a shift of emphasis for Khamenei. He has been focusing on the regional rivalry with Saudi Arabia, declaring Riyadh as the region’s cause of terrorism and denouncing the US for support that included Donald Trump’s proclamation of $110 billion in arms sales:
See how obscene our enemy is! With a decadent, backwards tribal system, the US President stands by the head of the clan and performs a sword-dance.
Khamenei did not explain if, using his logic, Iran’s essential intervention in support of the Assad regime since 2011 would bring the Islamic State’s terrorism into the Islamic Republic.
On Saturday night, three attackers ran a van at high speed into pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed people in nearby restaurants. Seven were killed and 48 injured within minutes before the assailants were shot dead by security forces.